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The Bonne Terre City Council recently heard news about a technology grant from the Missouri State Library.

As part of the Library Services and Technology Act Federal Grant Program, the Bonne Terre Memorial Library will receive $15,310 to update their equipment.

The grant will replace their aging lab computers, monitors, and printer, as well as pay for Microsoft Office and two months of weekly computer literacy training courses open to the public.

“The computers were six or seven years old and when we tried to update some of them, they wouldn’t work,” said Library Director Tina Johnston.

Stephen Simmons, a library volunteer and IT Master’s candidate who will teach the literacy courses, praised the benefits of the new computers. With stronger processors and more RAM, “[they] allow for more programs to be run and for more multitasking.”

He elaborated on the literacy courses from the grant.

“It is a beginner’s computer literacy course for all ages,” he said. “We also want to have free one-on-one help.”

They will look at starting the courses sometime in the summer and to continue them past the date of the grant.

“We’re going to install the printer first, and then computers,” Johnston said. “For the last two years we’ve been needing a new printer. It was going out slowly and we knew it was going to die.”

She displayed a page printed by it that was striped with dozens of black lines.

“You can’t make an application with that," she said.

The city will pay 50 percent of the cost of the new printer which was originally $7,120. The new printer will scan pages more than twice as quickly and print out at a faster rate.

“The library approached me about the possibility of replacing the copy machine so we started pursuing grant opportunities,” City Administrator Shawn Kay said. “I found this mini technology grant from the state library and we were fortunate enough to be successful.”

Kay said that the computer lab is important for citizens to search for jobs or to build a resume.

GFI Digital, a company stationed in St. Louis, will help install the printer and help with maintenance as needed.

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Matthew Morey is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3617, or at mmorey@dailyjournalonline.com.

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