Colorado's Public Computer Center: Quarterly Update

Earlier today, Susan Burkholder sent this out via our e-newsletter to stakeholders...

Curious minds have been asking...

  • "Have you topped 3 million computer uses yet?"
  • "So what do people do on your computers anyhow?"
  • "Are you going to have any more fun projects as you wind down the grant?"

Here are answers to these questions, and more!

How many people use the computers and take classes?
Through December 2012, the 88 Public Computer Centers have provided computer access and training to residents throughout Colorado:

  • 3,026,937 computer uses in the Public Computer Centers
  • 341,901 one-to-one computer help sessions
  • 3,913 public classes with 25,430 participants trained

How are they using the computers? What are they learning?
To find out, we administered over 7000 surveys to Public Computer Center users and computer class participants. The results showed that during open lab time, respondents were most likely to be using the computer to:

  • communicate with someone (52%)
  • look for employment (38%)
  • use the printer, scanner, or fax (33%)

One open lab survey respondent said, "Probably the most valuable resource, dollar for dollar, available to community. I have found jobs... researched... located tax information , and have done school work over the years. Thank you!!" Another said that, "Accessing the internet is super important in our modern world. In a rural place... high speed internet can be either very expensive or impossible to get. I very much appreciate the ability to have endless information and communication opportunities."

Public Computer Centers offer a variety of computer classes, but the most common outcomes after taking a computer class were:

  • 68% got better at using the computer
  • 49% got better at using the internet
  • 38% got better at using software

Computer class attendees appreciate the new skills and resources. "I received a promotion at work thanks to the instructor and my computer skills I am learning," reported one participant. Another commented, "New adventures have opened up to me now. Friends and family are easier to reach and the information available is amazing."

For more information, Library Research Service has posted the full report and a one page infographic.
 
How are you helping the Public Computer Centers be even more engaging?
In addition to the over 1,300 computers already installed in PCCs, we are now offering digital media "Creation Station" kits and early literacy workstations to select recipients. We look forward to seeing and hearing the movies, music and graphics created by garage bands, 3rd grade history classes, and historic preservation groups, among others the libraries are targeting with their new resources as they continue to transform from places for consuming media to also creating media.

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