Summer 2011

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"The Hub" - A Dream Come True

Summer 2011 issue of Trustee

As a result of the recognition of a community need, the desire to create a solution, and the commitment to turn a vision into reality, The Port Jervis Public Computer Center was born. The center will be known as "The Hub"; a technology term that also captures the City's heritage as an important hub for the Delaware and Hudson Canal and the Erie Railroad.

The Trustees (President: Norman Gallagher; Vice-President: William Hockenberry; Treasurer: Joan Wagner; Secretary: Marie Reeves; Trustee: Carey Sue Connelly) and the Library Director (Beverly Arlequeeuw) dedicated themselves and the Library resources necessary to apply for grant funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP), administered by The New York State Education Department and the efforts and resources of The Port Jervis Free Library.  In early 2010, they received word that they would be one of just over 30 libraries in New York to receive grant funds to create a new, free, public access computer center staffed with technology trainers to provide services and instruction to the general public.

On September 1, 2010, The Trustees contracted with Harding Business Consultants to equip, staff, operate, and manage "The Hub". In just a few short months the vision became a reality.  On January 3, 2011, "The Hub" opened with 16 internet connected lap top computers; two ADA compliant large, touch screen computers; a children's early literacy touch screen computer; a state-of-the-art teleconferencing system;  and a cadre of technology competent trainers available to the public 56 hours per week .   

The focus of the "The Hub" is to advance the use of E-services for training, employment, digital literacy, and education.   Whether a visitor never touched a computer or wishes to improve his or her skill-level, there will be individual instruction, group courses, live teleconferenced seminars, and virtual field trips to fit the circumstances.

In its first five months of operation, "The Hub" has presented 42 formal programs with a total class attendance of over 200 people, provided individual training for approximately 870 patrons, received over 2600 visitors who logged over 3500 hours of computer equipment time for internet connectivity, computer skill development,  plus job search and find activities.

To borrow the lyrics from a show tune of yesteryear, "You have to have a dream if you want to have a dream come true."  The City of Port Jervis and surrounding community are fortunate that the Trustees and Director of their Library had that dream and the determination to make it come true.

Submitted by Fred Harding

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