FARMINGTON – The Farmington Public Library will be offering new programs that straddle the virtual and in-person divide this year, thanks to a grant from the Maine Community Foundation to purchase laptops, iPads and air purifiers for the building. The first event in the series, a presentation on banking, will be held on July 22.
The library used the $4,870 grant through the Franklin County Fund and the Western Mountains Fund to enable the improvements. Among the additions will be seven laptops from give IT. get IT., a nonprofit organization that assists other nonprofits and families access technology by providing refurbished equipment and user support. The improvements also include 10 air purifiers.
The library has also been able to provide WiFi access around the building through a guest network, thanks to library book sales and contributions from the United Way.
According to Library Director Jessica Casey, the items will allow the library to offer programming that is a hybrid between in-person and virtual events, specifically geared towards people who are not comfortable with technology. Patrons will be able to come to the library and use a laptop to access the virtual event from anywhere in the library.
The improvements will also allow patrons to stay socially-distanced while still using library technology, with the library staff on hand to help with any technical difficulties. The technology will also allow the library to conduct more technology-centered programs in the future.
“Many people do not have access to the internet in their homes, do not have a personal computer, or are simply not comfortable operating technology,” Casey said. “Being able to use technology is increasingly important in today’s society, as more and more things migrate to an online format. The Farmington Public Library aims to help improve people’s comfort levels with technology through a series of these hybrid programs that focus on helping people become more familiar with various online resources.”
Additionally, the improvements will benefit the library’s visitors during future flu seasons.
The first event in this series will be held at 2 p.m. on July 22. Kendra Wheeler of Bangor Savings Bank will provide a presentation on banking in 2021, which focuses on convenient and useful online and mobile banking services.
To reserve a computer for this event, or for more information, please call the library at 207-778-4312 or go to www.farmington.lib.me.us.