West Side News

SPL purchases new children’s computers

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Nine new children’s computers are coming to Southwest Public Libraries.

Southwest Public Libraries worked with AWE Inc. to buy early literacy work stations loaded with more than 50 different types of educational software.

“We’re excited to be able to add the new literacy workstations with an expanded number of software titles. Early childhood literacy and learning has always been important to public libraries, and these new computers will enhance our service in this area. We see these computers as important tools to inspire children to become lifelong learners,” said director Mark Shaw.

The computers were purchased with funds from the levy passed in November 2010, communications manager Amy Shaw said. Each cost $2,800, including software and a three-year warranty.

“This is a wonderful thing that we’ve been able to do with that money,” Shaw said.

Based on available space, Westland Public Library will receive six workstations, while Grove City Public Library will receive three workstations.

The computers are not connected to the Internet, Shaw said. The software is used at many other libraries across the state.

The computers will replace 13- or 14-year-old workstations from the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Shaw said. The new software will offer newer technology and much more software.

The new workstations feature a multi-colored keyboard with a child-sized mouse. The screen has four different themes — such as jungle or princess — that children can change themselves. The computers will be equipped with headphones.

The software targets children aged 2-10. The games provide education in a fun way, Shaw said.

“We firmly believe that it makes a huge difference in a child’s ability to learn and grow if they start early,” Shaw said.

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