Weber's main library using $40K to upgrade computers

Mar 23 2012 - 10:49pm

OGDEN -- The Weber County Main Library's public computer lab is getting new computers.

The library's Board of Trustees has designated its $40,059 Community Library Enhancement Fund Award to the computer upgrade.

"The computers here are old, run slow and do not have enough memory to run all of the things that people need," said Library Director Lynnda Wangsgard.

In the lab, the library runs educational classes and keeps more powerful computers to help the public conduct research or do schoolwork.

Most computers on the library floor are thin clients, which are connected directly to the library server, Wangsgard said. These computers are meant for quick communication, such as checking email.

Along with more advanced PCs, the library hopes to use some thick clients, which will have more power than the thin clients, but will save more energy than the full PCs.

"This grant will give us the opportunity to experiment with new types of technology to better serve the public and still keep costs down," Wangsgard said.

The money is part of funds distributed to all of the library systems in the state by the Utah State Library, which is a division of the Utah Department of Community and Culture.

Weber County Library used last year's money to upgrade audio and video equipment. Through the funds, the library upgraded an outdoor speaker system at the Ogden Valley Branch in Huntsville, which allowed staff to speak through wireless microphones during events.

The state funds have declined in recent years. The library system received $54,836 in 2010 and $42,284 in 2011.

"You can see that the strain on the state budget has caused that to fall," Wangsgard said. "It's quite a bit less than we have been receiving, but it is still a welcome end-all be-all to our budget."

The board also set a deadline of 2 p.m. April 18 for a feasibility study and evaluation on the renovation or replacement of the main library.

Those interested in submitting a proposal must attend a 10 a.m. Thursday walk through the building to better evaluate the library.

Through the proposals, companies can give recommendations on the future life of the main library, giving estimates on the costs to either renovate or replace the building.

Neither the library nor the county has money set aside to replace or construct a new main branch library.

"Once we see what's least expensive," Wangsgard said, "then we will look at funding."

Click here for the request for proposal

After the Board of Trustees has reviewed the ideas, it will issue a second request for proposals for companies interested in doing the work.

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