The Austin Public Library Friends Foundation is being awarded two grants to support digital inclusion and literacy. The grants, one for $75,000 from Google Fiber and one for $70,000 from Google will be for digital programs as well as videoconferencing hardware and training.
In a statement, the Foundation said specifically:
The $75,000 grant from Google Fiber will be used to:
• Increase one-to-one digital literacy support and activities for adults and youth in the Ruiz and Carver library branches. This support will help patrons who need assistance using the computer lab, such as an adult looking for a job or creating a resume, or a student trying to complete homework.
• Provide skills-building classes for youth and adults. Workshops and events will include science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities and coding for youth, and web development and other entrepreneurial skills classes for adults. These opportunities will also be available at the Ruiz and Carver branches of the Austin Public Library.
The $70,000 grant from Google will provide a flat-screen television and Google Hangout technology—cameras and microphones—as well as training for the library staff. This upgraded technology will be used in the 12 community rooms of the new Austin Central Library, as well as seven Austin Public Library branches, including:
• Spicewood Springs
• Hampton Branch at Oak Hill
• Little Walnut Creek
• Manchaca Road
In a release, Foundation executive director Tim Staley said, "We are thrilled that these grants will allow us to provide more digital literacy support for Austinites and bring videoconferencing capabilities to those people who don’t have ample access to technology."
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