The mission of the Tucson-Pima Public Library (TPPL) is "to. . . fulfill community information needs by. . . providing convenient access to library resources for people of all ages in Tucson and Pima County." This mission is further defined by the City of Tucsons strategic priorities, which require all departments to address community needs in ways that reduce poverty, are child and family friendly, and create a safe environment.
The first phase of Libraries Online!(LOL) allowed TPPL to increase equitable, convenient access in four highly distressed neighborhoods by introducing people to the vast array of information found via state-of-the-art computers. The impact of LOL has advanced not only the librarys mission, but also the citys priorities. The LOL project at TPPL targets children and youth experiencing poverty and low educational attainment, under-employed/unemployed adults, and non-English speaking people of all ages with no access to personal computers.
During the second phase of Libraries Online!, TPPL expanded on the accomplishments of the previous year by adding two sites. One site is in one of the poorest urban areas in Arizona, South Tucson. The other site is in the rural town of Marana, approximately 25 miles northwest of Tucson. Both libraries operate in areas where people have little or no convenient access to information technology.
At the Marana and South Tucson libraries, public computer labs were built to allow patrons to access CD ROMs, the librarys integrated online system, web server products, and graphic access to the Internet and World Wide Web. At existing Libraries Online! sites, TPPL increased the RAM on computers and upgraded the public computers to NT Workstation so that security and consistency were synchronized project-wide. A PC and server at the main library allow for remote administration of all LOL hardware, network security, troubleshooting and experimentation.
Staff and volunteer lab assistants at the two newest Libraries Online! sites attended basic training classes at existing LOL sites. Once the new sites were operational, public training sessions for targeted audiences were provided by branch staff or community volunteers. In addition, all LOL Information Services staff received an overview of basic technical support techniques and received computer literacy training as needed. At all sites, group sessions and one-on-one instruction are available to the public.
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