Submitted by the Oswego Public Library
The Oswego Public Library opened its new Public Computing Center (PCC) in October 2010. Recently the library hired Theresa Slosek as Director for the Computing Center. Ms. Slosek joins two part time Technology Instructors, Lisa Czirr and Susan Hansen, who have been training individuals using the center since February. Courses currently offered are “Introduction to Computers” and “Internet Basics.” These courses are for members of the public who have no experience with computers.
Ms. Slosek joins the library after many years of experience as a School Library Media Specialist and School Administrator. She looks forward to meeting and working with members of the Oswego community and local organizations, and especially to helping local residents become familiar with twenty-first century technology. “We encourage anyone who has never used a computer to take these courses. The library offers people who don’t have computers or internet at home a way to keep in touch with friends and loved ones, to entertain themselves, to search for jobs and information, and to learn new skills to improve their lives. After completing these easy, hands-on courses, members of the public can continue to use the Oswego Public Library’s computers for free,” said Ms. Slosek. The Computing Center, located on the lower level of the Library, is open daily for classes and one-on-one training. To sign up for classes go to the main desk at the library or call 341-5867.
The Public Computing Center is open on Mondays and Fridays from 10:00 am to noon and 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am to 8:30 pm, on Wednesdays from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm, and on Saturdays from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm. The schedule of classes can be found in the Oswego Public Library at the main desk and on the Oswego Public Library web site by clicking on the link to the Public Computing Center. Individual help is available by appointment or when classes are not in session.
The library also contracts with Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County to provide classes to individuals who have very few or no computer skills. At the PCC, Literacy Volunteers offers a series of workshops for jobseekers titled “Planning for Job Success.” Anyone interested in signing up for the workshops can call Literacy Volunteers at 342-8839.
“This Public Computing Center aims to provide increased computer skills to our community. Classes range from very basic introductory lessons to how someone completes job applications, searches the internet for reliable information, obtains health and financial information and improves their life in general by using computers,” said Library Director Carol Ferlito.
The Center, funded through a grant filed by New York State Library Development, a unit of the NYS Education Department, is part of the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Broadband Technology Opportunity Program. This grant, a total of $244,517 received over a 2 year period, has allowed the Oswego Public Library to establish one of 30 state-of-the-art computer centers in New York State designed to increase public access to high speed internet services. The library purchased eleven desk-top computers for the Public Computing Center including equipment that addresses individuals with special needs. In addition, the Library has fifteen laptop computers to be used in the community room for large group instruction. In the very near future, the library will be installing equipment which will allow for high-definition video conferencing in the Community Room and will be available for use by local organizations and businesses.
Edward Elsner, Librarian at Oswego Public Library, said “We welcome Ms. Slosek as Director of the Public Computing Center. We are sure she will be responsive to the needs of individuals to learn new computer skills to improve their work skills and personal lives. We look forward to welcoming new customers to the Library during expanded hours when the Public Computing Center is open.”
“This is an extremely exciting time for our library. This grant allows us to provide services that are greatly needed by our community,” said Director Ferlito.