Digital Literacy Initiative makes IT equipment kits available at Albion, Medina libraries

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 3 September 2022 at 11:27 am

ALBION/MEDINA – The Orleans Digital Literacy Initiative, spearheaded by United of Orleans County, has secured three presentation kits to empower local non-profits by providing them with current, working equipment to reduce the demand on budgets and enable organizations to be able to offer services digitally.

For example, local non-profits can borrow the kits for presentations, virtual conferences, webinars and other necessary functions. The equipment kits include a projector, webcam, Chromebook, presentation muse and the necessary peripherals to connect the devices, said Katie Leach, who oversees the Digital Literacy program at Cornell Cooperative Extension. The IT equipment kits can be checked out from the Hoag Library in Albion and the Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina.

Christine Mostyn, director of the Lee-Whedon Memorial Library, said this is another avenue to help other non-profits in the community by helping them offer online learning and teaching through technology United Way has provided.

“This equipment is expensive and an organization often can’t afford it,” Mostyn said.

At Hoag Library, Michael Magnuson, the reference librarian, will manage the program.

The Orleans Digital Literacy Initiative is a community-wide collaborative that is bridging the digital divide through education and internet/technology accessibility, said Leach, who coordinates the Digital Literacy program.

“The idea behind this program is to be beneficial to smaller non-profits who don’t have the money to purchase the necessary equipment to have general meetings or zoom meetings,” Leach said. “This includes churches, as well.”

Two kits are available at Hoag Library and one in Lee-Whedon.

“This is a nice addition to our services,” Leach said.

The IT equipment kits come with materials on how to set up and use the equipment. If anyone needs assistance with the kits, Leach will come and help set them up, she said. Her number is (585) 798-4265 (ext. 146 or option 4) or she may be reached by e-mail at  Weekly tech tips and news about local tech resources are available on Facebook at @OrleansTechHelp.

The initial grant secured by United Way of Orleans County for the Digital Divide was $364,130. A small grant of $8,572 funds the Western New York Digital Equity Coalition, from where the equipment was purchased, and also covered lunches and a learning series.