Central Elgin, ON: Are you without internet access at home? Do you need to
work on a resume or apply for government services? Thanks to the support of Elgin
County Council, new computers are available for public use at library branches.
"Funding the replacement of aging equipment available to county residents was an
easy decision," said Warden Cameron McWilliam. "Computers are an essential part
of day-to-day life. Numerous services are available online, yet many residents either
do not own a computer, or do not have access to high-speed internet. Thankfully,
we can help by making new machines available to everyone at their local library
Library visitors can use computers for educational and employment purposes or for
leisure activities. The new machines come equipped with the most recent version
of Microsoft Office as well as access to a number of free resources that can be
used to learn a new language, figure out how to repair your car, learn what you
need to finish your homework assignments, or research your family history. Of course,
they are also used for standard library business, such as searching the library's
collection of books, eBooks, movies and music.
"If you don't feel comfortable with computers, or need brushing up on your skills,
students are available through the Youth Internships at Community Access Sites Program
with whom you can schedule one-on-one appointments for free training," said Sandi
Loponen, Library Coordinator. "Interns can assist with hardware and software basics,
as well as social networking - so you can set up a facebook account or learn what
a hashtag is all about on twitter."
The library's computers are well-used, logging over 28,000 sessions in 2012 across
"Some library visitors like to use them for e-mail, facebook, or watching videos
on YouTube," said Al Reitsma, IT Manager for the county. "Others need to spruce
up resumes, create flyers, or print off documents quickly for a business call."
Thomas Knelsen, a frequent young visitor at the Aylmer Old Town Hall Library, uses
the computers for online gaming and is enthusiastic about the new equipment at the
"They are really a lot faster now. The old computers used to freeze all the time
but these don't," Knelsen explained.
Library visitors can book computer time in 30-minute sessions, up to a maximum of
2 hours of daily use if no one is waiting. Wireless service is also available in
the branches for those who want to bring in their own laptop or tablet.
Elgin County Library branches are located in Aylmer, Dutton, Straffordville, Port
Stanley, Rodney, West Lorne, Port Burwell, Springfield, Belmont and Shedden.