New technology a big draw for school’s library

An injection of $30,000 worth of new computer technology into the Mifflinburg Area High School library has resulted in more student visits and nearly triple the amount of subject research, reports the Daily Item of Sunbury, Pa. And the dramatic spike has been achieved within three months, according to librarian Eileen Slaby. "My goal was to double it at the end of the year," she said of research hits being made on the school’s Power Library search engine. "To see it happen by mid-year is absolutely wonderful." Slaby received a $30,000 grant last summer from the Library Services and Technology Act through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries. It was used to buy a laptop cart with 30 laptops, an LCD projector, a printer, and an electronic whiteboard. Slaby said the main goal of the grant is to develop more collaboration between the library and teachers. But the new technology also has been a big attraction for students, she said. "It’s nothing to see 70 students in here at one time," said Slaby, adding that students also are allowed to sign out a laptop to use in the classroom. "That’s definitely more than there was before we got the new technology." Slaby said the impact was immediate. "Power Library indicated the library had 8,054 searches made in September through December last year, while during the same time this past fall, there were 19,373 searches done," she said, adding that with the laptops, the library now has 66 computers available. "As we can see, the technology is doing what it’s supposed to do."

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