From the Valencia Library
A teacher from Los Ranchitos Elementary School recently discovered that our library has computers available. She has assigned her class to write my capstone anf they will need to complete at the library. She has also volunteered to help out on Saturdays when her students will be using the computer. In addition, she is providing her own paper so that her students won't need to bring their own or use the supplies owned by the library. "It's the least I can do. I am very happy to see computers available to the kids in this part of town," she said.
A library patron is coming in two or three times a week to work on a book he is writing. His computer was stolen and now he is able to work on his manuscript at the library. He is very pleased that he can access a computer close to his home. Before the Libraries Online! project, there were no computers available for this type of activity in any of the public libraries.
A recent arrival at our branch, Monica Aguilar, library technical assistant, has the magic touch with computers. She helped hook up the Internet at Valencia by talking through the steps with Phil Heikkinen while on the telephone. She is constantly looking for ways to learn about the new technology and has been very helpful to staff and the public. She also has found a new way to access the printer without going through additional passwords, which has greatly simplified the process.
We are finding the educational CD-ROMs that we have loaded to be unique and effective tools for teaching ESL students. An ESL tutor has been making use of the computers for her three East Indian students.
A woman in her sixties has been coming everyday since the arrival of the Internet at our library. She is very excited to be learning about the Information Highway and cannot believe she is able to do this in the library. One of our volunteers, a library student, had been helping and guiding her.
From the Mission Branch Library
Joanna is a 12 year old student who lives in the neighborhood near Mission Branch. She spends 8-10 hours a week in the library after school and on Saturdays. Of course, she has been working on the computers from the beginning of the Libraries Online! Project. She has experimented with all of the software products available. Her favorite is Microsoft Publisher. Over the past several weeks she has tutored herself through many of the Publisher features. Joanna's skills have become useful for her family, as she has completed several publishing tasks for family members. She designed business cards for an uncle, a birthday banner for her sister, "open" and "closed" signs in both English and Spanish for a friend. In support of her work her parents provide paper so that she won't have to limit her work to the ten sheets we allow.
Tiffany, a seventh grader, was thrilled at the quality and quantity of information that she could retrieve from the Internet for her school report on Tasmania. The report (completed in fancy font from Microsoft Word) was very impressive, including current weather reports and headline news from Tasmania.
Karine has been working diligently every day using the PCs to write letters, develop resumes and other documents related to her job hunting efforts. She brought roses from her yard for library staff when she was called in for an interview.
From the Woods Branch Library
One patron was particularly eager to sign up to use the computer. When he realized there wasn't any available time on that day, he erased the name of the person already signed up for the hour he wanted and penciled in his own name!
Four children from one family signed up for two two-hour time slots. When one sibling wasn't willing to share time with another, two of the children came to the librarian complaining and asking her to settle the dispute.
"The computers at Woods are a Godsend," says Don Burnside. He has been using the computer regularly for the past few weeks to type and print up his poetry. He is chronicling his experiences with homeless people and has been on our local cable television to read his works.
A class of GED students came in for an overview of Internet. They were very pleased with the instruction provided by the librarian and excited about the possibilities that Internet access will provide.
Credits: Tucson-Pima Public Library Staff, submitted 5/96