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Thursday, June 20, 2002

County Partners with Gates Foundation for Pleasantville Library Computer Training Lab

County Executive Dennis Levinson has announced that Atlantic County will partner with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to provide new computer equipment for a training lab for the Pleasantville Library branch.

"We have come to realize that our public libraries are more than a collection of books; they are a major access point of information," stated Levinson. "This computer lab will provide training opportunities for students, seniors and community organizations, thereby improving the public's ability to access information."

The purpose of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is to partner with public libraries to bring digital information to people in low income communities. The Pleasantville Library was identified by the New Jersey State Library as being an eligible recipient. The grant provides solely for equipment.

The Pleasantville branch will receive a total of 15 new Gateway personal computers. Some will be equipped with Spanish language keyboards to make it easier for individuals for whom English is a second language. According to the 2000 census, 22% of Pleasantville's residents are Hispanic.

Through the help of this grant, patrons will learn how to access employment and health resources, multilingual searches and homework help services. Training will also be available for a variety of software programs.

For more information, please contact Alyce Bowers, Director of Library Services, at (609) 625-2776, ext. 6308.

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