Iowa librarians will welcome hundreds of new computers coming next month from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Mary Wegner, head of the State Library of Iowa says it’ll be about $3,735,000 worth of new computers and software, 832 computers and 138 “content servers” sent out to 380 public libraries. Iowa’s the 49th state to get the computers. Wegner says that’s partly because Iowa has so many libraries, and also because many already have come computers available. In fact, she says this gift will help replace some library computers that are wearing out. The foundation set up by the world’s richest couple will also pay for the know-how to run all the new computers. She says one nice thing is that the computers come loaded with a lot of software and the foundation sends technicians out both to install them and to train librarians. The computers will not be programmed with so-called “filtering software” aimed at limiting internet sites a user can access, as Wegner says the Microsoft billionaire has noted such proposals are matters for local decision-making. The program’s aimed at bridging the “digital divide” and not only make electronic access available to those who might not have it, but also to make sure more people have high-speed internet access, something that she says has “been a real challenge” in Iowa. The librarians begin their training next month and the computers are to arrive between April and October.
You are here: / / Program puts new computers in libraries