Alert
Close

Join the Drive to End Hunger! Watch the NASCAR race on Sunday at Kansas Speedway.

Bits & Bytes
Poll

Most Popular
Articles

Viewed

Nothing has been viewed

AARP Montana, Libraries Celebrate National Library Week

As a partner in the ‘Connect @ Your Library’ project, AARP Montana and the Montana State Library are teaming up to celebrate National Library Week, April 8-14, 2012. National Library Week is a national observance each April to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use. Libraries across the state will host events and activities designed to showcase today’s reinvented, hi-tech libraries, which is the theme of the current statewide marketing effort, aptly titled Library.Next.

See Also: Public Libraries: Check Out Books, Big Savings

“The Montana State Library is investing in the future of communities all across Montana with Library.Next,” said Jennie Stapp, Montana State Librarian. “The Library.Next project means faster Web access, more computer stations and Wi-Fi at libraries throughout Montana. We hope Montanans will join us in local libraries throughout the state to find out all that today’s modern libraries have to offer.”

As part of the project, local libraries also offer patrons a variety of workshops on using the Web while staying safe online. Web-savvy librarians are readily available to offer help on everything from privacy settings to applying for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits to using AARP online tools.

A study in 2010 ranked Montana 50th out of 50 states in broadband Internet penetration, with just 34% of connections having broadband speeds above two megabits per second. This problem is made more challenging by the state’s low population density and expansive geography. In many cases, public libraries are the only feasible source of broadband Internet access in remote communities.

In July 2010, the Montana State Library announced the launch of a $2.7 million grant program to increase availability of Internet throughout state. The State Library received a $1,829,473 grant to fund its "Enhancing Computer Centers at Montana Public Libraries" project, which is designed to expand broadband capacity and training in many of Montana's public libraries. An additional $897,231 in matching funds was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Montana State Library project is providing more access at faster speeds to 43 local libraries in 29 counties across the state within reach of 86 percent of Montana’s population. Participating libraries were chosen based on demonstrated library need and geographic challenges, as well as their ability and willingness to sustain project investments.

“AARP Montana is excited to partner with the Montana State Library to spotlight ‘Library.Next’ during National Library Week,” said Joy Bruck, AARP Montana State President. “Today’s public libraries are a place to meet new people, learn new things and discover new ideas. Certainly the libraries help support life-long learning but as technology centers, they also help families stay connected through e-mail, Facebook or live, interactive video chats.”

In a recent AARP Bulletin story about the future of public libraries, Allan Kleiman noted that the over-65 population "will double in size by 2025, and libraries are realizing that this is a potentially new and exciting market." Allan Kleiman is one of the leading consultants on retrofitting the nation's public libraries as beacons for older adults. Kleiman, who has consulted with libraries across America on how to attract older people, sees libraries as places for assembling an active, more inquiring generation that wants books, but also much more information and connectivity. He believes the proven success of interactive sections for teens and children will translate to the same for older adults.

Find a library near you or to see how many computer work stations your library offers. Call or click through to your local library to find events associated with National Library Week.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Technology
Resources

Social Networking

Step-by-step instructions on how to use some of the Web's most popular networking sites. Go

 

How to Use Your PC

Guides covering everything from setting up your desktop, to getting the most out of Excel. Go

 

Protect Your Digital Life

Keep your computer secure, your web surfing safe, and your inbox spam free with these tips. Go

Discounts & Benefits

Geek Squad Computing

Members save on Geek Squad services with Geek Squad® Tech Support & Guidance for AARP® Members.

AARP Discounts on ADT Companion Services

Members get 20% off NEW installation and activation of ADT® Personal Emergency Response System.

AARP Discounts on Consumer Cellular Phones and Plans

Members save 5% on monthly service and usage charges with Consumer Cellular.

Member Benefits

Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. Join Today

Being Social

Featured
Groups

computer questions and tips

Computer Questions & Tips

Pick up some handy how-tos from this savvy group of techies. Discuss

 

Freebies Group

Favorite Websites & Freebies

Share your top sites for interesting information, helpful resources — and free stuff! Discuss