By Nicholas Cafalone, Contributing Writer
Oswego, NY – Thanks to a recent grant, the Oswego Public Library was able to purchase new video conferencing equipment for its Public Computing Center.
The grant was given to the public library by the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), which was established by the National Telecommunications Information Administration after President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law in 2009.
The National Telecommunications Information Administration’s goal with BTOP is to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure, enhance and expand public computer centers, encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service, and develop and maintain a nationwide public map of broadband service capability and availability.
“The Recovery and Reinvestment Act is economic stimulus money and the Telecommunications and Information Administration wants to see all across the United States people having access to broadband internet access,” said Theresa Slosek, director of the Public Computing Center.
The PCC wants to help people in the community improve their lives with technology and offers assistance to local businesses and entrepreneurs.
They provide free access to high speed internet, instruction in basic computing, internet skills, job search and job skills.
“Part of the grant money is to make things more accessible to the community. Businesses could use it for training or conferences,” said Slosek.
She hopes that adding video conferencing equipment to their facilities for training and education will help to stimulate employment and job opportunities.
Due to the center’s work to make broadband internet access more accessible and the high unemployment rate in Oswego the library was awarded the grant to purchase the new video conferencing equipment.
The new equipment consists of a brand new 55-inch high-definition Vizio television and a Lifesize video conferencing camera and software.
Already the PCC is working with the Library of Congress so that they can receive video tours of the Library of Congress with their new equipment.
Slosek said they hope that they will be able to offer this opportunity to the public sometime in July.
The mission of the Oswego Public Library’s Public Computing Center enhances the mission of the library (‘To be the learning center for the greater Oswego area and the place people turn to for the discovery of ideas, the joy of reading and the power of information. Community needs drive our services. We believe that library services should be delivered in a welcoming, convenient and responsive manner.’).
The PCC helps people in the community improve their lives with technology and offers assistance to local businesses and entrepreneurs.
The Oswego Public Library’s Public Computing Center addresses the distressed economy, high unemployment rate and lack of affordable public access to high-speed broadband services for citizens in this area.
The PCC concentrates on education, training and technical support and meets the increasing needs to access online resources for work, healthcare, education and citizenship.
It provides free access to high speed internet and to computers, instruction in basic computer, internet and job search and job skills and will provide video-conferencing equipment and facilities for training and education, in order to stimulate employment and job opportunities.
The center also offers open lab time, drop-in computer troubleshooting sessions and outreach classes in other libraries with WiFi access.
With a focus on workforce development, we aim to enable people and businesses to participate fully in today’s society by equipping them with digital literacy skills and providing digital communication technologies.
The PCC is located in the lower level of the Oswego Public Library, 120 E. Second St. 343-2344.
Theresa Slosek, director; Lisa Czirr and Susan Hansen, technical instructors