(SUPERIOR)--- The Montana State Library and Mineral County Public Library are pleased to announce the release of a series of three videos that highlight the impact libraries have on the lives of Montanans. The videos feature Montana library users and Montana librarians from around the state.
The videos were filmed at the Bitterroot Public Library in Hamilton; the Hearst Free Library in Anaconda; the Lewis & Clark Library in Helena; the North Lake County Public Library in Polson; the Sidney-Richland County Library in Sidney; and the Web on Wheels (W.O.W.) Bus, which is a branch of the Missoula Public Library.
“Montanans across the state are improving their lives, achieving their life-long learning goals, furthering their communities, and connecting with family and friends at their public libraries,” said Jennie Stapp, Montana State Librarian. “These videos demonstrate the impact that Montana libraries have on their patrons and communities.”
The videos feature stories from patrons, community members, and library partners that use their local library to learn how to run their home-based business using technology; assist job-seekers as they look for the right employment using library resources; complement their home-school curriculum with library resources and computers; learn how to use the latest technology resources; and manage their business in the oil fields of northeastern Montana.
The videos can be found on the MTLibraryNext You Tube channel, or at the following hyperlinks:
Bringing Technology to Montanans:
Providing a Foundation for Businesses and Families: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCngmQtgCR0
Supporting our Communities through Change and Challenge:
“Mineral County Public Library, as is the case with all libraries, is where a community meets,” said Guna Chaberek, Director. “Whether it’s for a book discussion group or to hear a speaker or to learn how to apply for a job online, libraries are where Montanans come together.”
A 2011 survey of Montanans demonstrated that nearly 40% of Montana library patrons using their library’s public access computers were looking for a job. Other uses of the public access computers as reported by Montana library patrons included email (79.5%); news and entertainment (41.9%); paying bills and managing finances (26.7%); taking an online course (15.7%); completing homework (15.7%); and signing up for public benefits (9%).
The videos were completed as part of the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP), a federally funded (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) project administered by the Montana State Library. Matching support for BTOP is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Montana State Library, and some participating public libraries. Funding for the videos was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The BTOP program has provided a combination of computers, software, assistive devices, network hardware, staff funding, broadband upgrades, and digital literacy training to 43 public libraries with the goal of improving access to the Internet at public libraries.
In its first two years, by working through local Montana libraries, the BTOP program:
• Provided Internet access to over 700,000 patrons annually;
• Delivered over 400 new computers, including children’s computers;
• Installed ADA-compliant software and peripherals;
• Provided over 1,300 hours of digital literacy training to 900 librarians;
• Provided over 10,000 hours of digital literacy training to 55,000 patrons;
• Helped fund the Web On Wheels, which provides Internet access and training to rural patrons in Missoula County; and
• Ensured all participating libraries have high-performing public wireless access.
Montanans are accessing their public libraries in person and online in record numbers,” said Stapp. “As evidenced by our usage statistics and these new videos, Montana libraries are a hub of learning, a bastion of freedom, a cultural center, a community center, and the heart and soul of our beautiful, inquiring communities.”
For more information on the library impact videos or the statewide BTOP program, please contact Sara Groves at (406) 444-5357 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.