The resources that we used to enhance the environment of the library at Green Meadows were limited by funding. We were able to purchase some physical resources through an academic grant provided by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In order to accommodate for collaborative work, we purchased a large round table where three computers would be placed. The grant was also used for purchasing power strips and extension cords to expand the limited power supply in the room. We bought a router and a switch for creating a LAN and linking all the computers together in the network, in addition to providing a wireless network. In order to ensure security, we purchased cables and locks to prevent any theft. Lastly, a total of seven computers were provided to Green Meadows by our LIS 451 class at no charge.
Adding computers into the library at Green Meadows will aid in many of the activities already in place at the site. The computers were all equipped with educational software to help young residents learn school essentials. Having access to the Internet enhances the opportunities for residents to find jobs in the community and also expand the amount of reading material available to them. Also, having access to the Internet and the added bible study software will help the Bible classes by providing other bible programs ideas and inputs. And, lastly, by having the wireless and group table, it allows for a new activity – group computing.
The whole residential community will benefit from the addition of computers in the Green Meadows library. Kids will be mentored and learn from assistive software programs. Residents will be able to apply for more jobs, and will be better equipped for interacting with technology in the workforce. They will also be able to create better, more professional resumes by having the information and tools available to them. It should be noted that exposure to technology increases the number of people interacting in the community, and provides media for community input. Additionally, it enhances many of the programs by providing information exclusively located on the Internet. In all, no outcomes from the previous community space is really hurt by the addition of the computers, and the ones that would have been affected (e.g. people’s interaction with each other) are corrected by the creation of a group computing space.
This space is equipped with Wireless for any expansion with Wi-Fi. There are extra outlets located on the power strips which can provide accommodation for new hardware. The extension cords also allow for the layout of the library to be flexible with any renovation. Documentation will allow any future work on the library; those coming in afterwards will be able to backtrack and understand what we had in mind with the layout and intended use of technology. A computer literacy class can be provided to the residents to show them how to utilize the computers so that they can get the most out of the addition of the technology. Individual computer literacy classes can pushed forward for each activity located at Green Meadows to facilitate the activity’s goals. The most important would be that the computers are set up so that there’s very little that someone can mess up the system, and there will always be a way to start with a clean install.
Project Transition Checklist
The key milestones in the project were as followed:
- Meeting with Gloria at Green Meadows to understand goals and expectations.
- Visit for measurements and planning layouts of library.
- Visit to leave a sample computer for Gloria and residents to try.
- Visit to renovate the library.
- Visit to add bookshelves and help with organization.
- Future visit to follow up and possibly give a computer literacy course.