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Lincoln Library is getting new computers as part of a major tech upgrade

Lincoln Library street view
Lincoln Library

Springfield’s public library has received the first shipment of new public computers. About 16 have arrived with a total of 70 to be installed this year.

“Access to up-to-date technology is the heart of what a library should be providing for the community. Providing access to digital resources helps to bridge the ever-increasing disparity gap, as well as helps startups and folks starting new businesses,” said Lincoln Library Acting Director Summer Beck-Griffith.

Existing computers at the site are between seven and ten years old. Many of the public computers are unstable.

According to the library, the new computers will replace 30 in the public computer lab, 20 in the Nancy Huntley Computer Classroom, and 10 in the Youth Services area. Other computers will be used for printing stations and other public uses. The first 16 will go into the computer lab and the second round of 16 will head to the computer classroom, which will host computer classes starting in the fall. New software, such as Adobe applications and other creation tools, are also being purchased.

“We want to have try-before-you-buy type software that people really need. We want to support workforce development and promote free access to creation tools that are more than just the basics. It’s 2022 and the Library should be leading the way,” Beck-Griffith continues.

The total cost of this upgrade will be approximately $64,000. The Library’s existing budget can support approximately $32,000 and will look to fund the other $32,000 through other means including the Wagner bequest. Lincoln Library is also drafting a master technology plan for the next phases of updates. As part of the plan, computers will be replaced on a rotating basis as they become damaged or obsolete, preventing the need for such a large investment in the future.

Lincoln Library has also moved to purchase over 150 grant-funded internet hotspots for public circulation, and hopes to be able to improve its internet infrastructure over the course of the year.

Lincoln Library has worked to improve its technology offerings over the last year, including offering laptops for Zoom calls in the second floor study rooms.

The public computer lab will be renamed for the Wagner Family in the near future.

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