Magazine article Computers in Libraries

High-Tech Learning Centers: Broward County Library

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

High-Tech Learning Centers: Broward County Library

Article excerpt

As automated resources become broader and more complex, libraries across the country are finding new ways to offer live, hands-on training for their clientele.

Broward County Library

On Thursday, March 11, 1996, Broward County (Florida) Library celebrated the grand opening of its Community Technology Center. Offering two classrooms for computer training was just the beginning of a project that will enable the library to provide state-of-the-art technological resources for its users.

Classroom one is a Macintosh lab for the school board of Broward County, where school board administrators, teachers, and others will be taught how to run the programs that the school uses in its daily work. The classroom will also be used, on an appointment-only basis, for previewing software programs and CD-ROMs related to school board work.

The second classroom is the PC lab of the Broward County Library and SEFLIN, the Southeast Florida Library Information Network, which sponsors a Freenet with more than 39,000 users. Classes here will be on WiseGuide - the umbrella name for the library's CARL OPAC, CD-ROM tower, and the Freenet. Available on the CD-ROM tower are resources such as the full text of The Miami Herald and Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, ABI/Inform, SIRS products, Ethnic Newswatch, PhoneDisc, and various government documents.

Classroom two will allow the library to provide more hands-on training for both the staff and the public. SEFLIN plans to expand its offerings of basic and advanced training for its target audience and information providers.

"The possibilities of using the classrooms to teach the use of our catalog, freenet, and specialized databases will be great," said Kathleen Eavenson, head of the Community Technology Center.

In addition to the two classrooms, the library is offering the Assistive Technology Educational Network (ATEN) Center for individuals with disabilities. …

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