(Released November 22, 2011) – It’s official! – Kent Branch Library, 3101 Collingwood Blvd., is re-opening to the public with an Open House as the new Kent Branch Library @CCESS Center from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, December 5. All are invited to the renovated building where treats and activities will be happening throughout the day!
Kent Branch closed to the public last November 2010 to complete a one-year renovation project. The new @CCESS Center is designed as a public computer center that will provide greater broadband Internet access to all.
Faith Hairston, Manager of the Kent Branch Library @CCESS Center, said the renovation project started in September 2010 with the help of a $2.2 million federal stimulus grant received by the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.
“This grant funded the expansion of Kent and the acquisition of a mobile computer center so that training for the community can be extended. There are so many patrons in need who will benefit from this advanced technology,” said Hairston, who added that the Kent @CCESS Center will open with expanded hours beginning January 3, 2012.
Clyde Scoles, Library Director, said the new Kent Branch @CCESS Center will benefit many patrons:
“From those interested in learning new job skills and computer literacy to adding training for small-business owners and business start-ups,” said Scoles, who added that in addition to the stimulus funding, the Library partnered with 56 major community partners for the grant including unions, corporations, institutions, hospitals, small businesses and non-profits. The partners contributed endorsements, knowledge and funding – about $70,500 total.
The total cost of the project was around $3million, which included $859,281 from the Library’s general fund.
Margaret Danziger, Library Deputy Director, said the branch will expand from 30 computers to now offering some 129 staff and public-use computers.
“This amazing @CCESS Center will provide broadband access to the general public and to specific vulnerable populations, such as low-income individuals, the unemployed, seniors, children, minorities and people with disabilities. We are proud of this fact,” said Danziger.
Kent Branch Library @CCESS Center highlights include:
· New Research Lab with six computers for group collaboration
· New Teen Gaming Room featuring PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Konnect
· Building enlarged by 997-square-feet
· New state-of-the-art Computer Training Room to accommodate up to 12 students and includes Smartboard technology
· Six adaptive workstations with vision and hearing enhanced software
· Thirty-two public access Internet computers, plus four Teen-only Internet computers
The Buehrer Group were the architects and The Spieker Company served as the general contractor for the Kent Branch Library @CCESS Center project.
Mobile Technology Center (Cybermobile)
A state-of-the-art mobile technology center (cybermobile), complete with high-speed broadband Internet access will also be on site at the upcoming Open House scheduled from 9-11 a.m. on Monday, December 5. The cybermobile was also funded via the stimulus.
Pat Nigro, head of the Library’s Outreach Services department, said this “classroom on wheels” is a first for the local Library system and a new concept in the delivery of Library Outreach services.
“This cybermobile will provide access to technology and programs to neighborhoods in high-need of such services,” said Nigro, who added that the cybermobile will be equipped with 12 desktop computers and a large-screen Smartboard for instruction and literacy programs.
Other cybermobile highlights:
· All PCs have 2010 Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access)
· Two adaptive workstations will have enhanced audio and larger keyboards, along with SARA Scanning, ZoomText, and 2010 Microsoft Office Suite
· Programs will be offered aboard to include Basic Computer Use, Basic Internet, Intermediate Internet, Email, and Job Resources
· Wheel-chair accessibility
· The mobile classroom will expand Library services to seniors, underserved, low-to-moderate income, and minorities.
NOTE: For additional information visit toledolibrary.org, or call Kent Branch Library @CCESS Center at 419.259.5340, or Outreach Services at 419.259.5315
- Toledo Lucas County Public Library