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The McDonald County Library recently received and implemented a grant that allowed for some technology upgrades, including a new children's computer.

It was a Library Services and Technology Act mini-grant for $5,141, library director Amy Wallain said.

"They gave us the funds to update our server so we can have reliable computer service for our patrons. We were able to buy two bar-code readers, which is what we scan our books with. But what we are most excited about -- and the most pricey item -- we bought a children's computer for our Noel library."

The Pineville branch has two children's computers, and the Southwest City branch has two children's computers, she said.

"We're very excited to be able to provide one to Noel," she continued.

She said the computer is "completely self-sufficient" and does not require an internet connection. It is completely safe for children, she said. It has a touchscreen and it comes pre-loaded with educational games. Another feature of the one in Noel is that it is bilingual, and it can do everything in English or Spanish, Wallain said.

The computer has games that teach math and reading skills, and it uses positive reinforcement to encourage children to keep learning.

"It's very interactive. Kids love it. And even the smallest can do it because it's the touchscreen. A mouse can be very hard to maneuver if you're two or three years old," Wallain said. "We're very excited. We couldn't have done it without the grant. One of these costs over $3,000."

She continued, "We decided to place it right in the computer lab at Noel. There are seven or eight computers. We thought it would be perfect when parents come in that there's something for children to do right on their level. We hope that there will be more people using our Noel library. Having a library is a fantastic resource for any community."

She added that the library has been amping up its book and DVD selection at Noel with a few new things coming every month. Even a few new audiobooks have come in, she said.

The grant is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

"The library is always grateful for grant money. It helps us go above and beyond what we would be able to do normally," Wallain said. "And it makes the library that much better for the patrons that use it."

General News on 06/14/2018

Print Headline: Library Grant Provides Children's Computer

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