ASC Nielsen Library receives technology grant


photo by Paul Mascarenas

The Adams State College Nielsen Library continues to keep up with the latest technology and offers services to the Adams State campus and outlaying community.

Brooke Andrade and Paul Mascarenas, reference librarians, successfully wrote a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant in 2007 and were renewed this year. The Federal Grant Institution of Museum and Library Services distributes the funds throughout the states. Andrade and Mascarenas received $18,000 the first year, using the grant to purchase ten laptops. Although they only asked for $12,000 this year, they received another $18,000. "We use the funds to buy more laptops, travel and to hire students to assist in teaching technology to the community," Andrade said.

She and Mascarenas have traveled around the San Luis Valley teaching free technology classes through local libraries. They purchased a cart to hold the laptops, batteries, a projector, keyboards and mouse units, and flash drives.

So far they have taught 64 sessions and estimate some 450 people have attended. Places include Alamosa, San Luis, Fort Garland, Center, Monte Vista, and the town of Conejos. To meet the requirements for the renewed grant, they have already scheduled classes in Monte Vista, South Fork, Conejos County Library in La Jara, and possibly San Luis.

Local citizens can find out if a class will be held in their area by contacting their local library, which sends out press announcements prior to dates.

The first classes offered were introduction to computers, succeeding classes included introduction to the Internet, setting up email, and advanced Google search and maps, and security online. "Once the initial classes were taken, we expanded our technology base to include photo manipulation and more specific courses," Andrade said.

Adams State students, faculty and staff are allowed to check out the library's laptops for use in the library.

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By Linda Relyea