Gates Usage

bq.For the library, supplying patrons with access to the Internet and the Web has become central to its mission, an updating of its long tradition of providing information free to the public. The transition has come quickly. In 1996, 28 percent of all libraries had PC’s for public access to the Internet. Now, 95 percent of libraries offer Internet access. The Gates foundation accelerated the trend. There are now more than 120,000 Internet-connected PC’s for public use in municipal libraries nationwide. Since 1998, the foundation has installed or paid for more than 47,000 PC’s. The raw numbers somewhat overstate how many of the foundation-sponsored machines are currently in use. (In Terrebonne Parish, for example, the 35 Gates foundation computers have been replaced by newer PC’s purchased by the library.) – “Steve Lohr(Libraries Wired, and Reborn)”:http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/22/technology/circuits/22gate.html?ex=1397966400&en=5b78d7eb1987a6b9&ei=5007&partner=google While most have had a RAM upgrade and many have had an operating system change, we are still using nearly all of our original workstations. As John Dvorak used to point out constantly, how much “processing power(Slowdown Lowdown)”:http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,163226,00.asp do you actually need to surf the web? A Pentium III 500 with 256 MB of RAM does just fine for our patrons (especially those not used to broadband level speeds).

Posted by Michael K Pate

Michael K. Pate tends to spend a great deal time of time around computers. He has been a Librarian since 1997. Michael was born in Avon Park, Florida in 1966. Except for a couple of brief periods in his life (once in Tampa and once in Winter Haven/Haines City), he has been a life-long resident. Originally, he planned on a career as a Computer Programmer and therefore graduate from Webber College with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems in 1988. However, unhappy with career opportunities at the time, he soon returned to school and received a BS in Social Science Education from the University of South Florida. He began his career in education at Avon Elementary and later Avon Park Middle working as a Computer Lab Coordinator. While technological challenges were interesting, he found himself more and more interested in becoming a Media Specialist. He began work on his MLS in 1995. However, a summer internship at the Sebring Public Library in 1996 soon made him reconsider just what his career should be. Upon graduation in 1997, he secured a position as a Media Specialist at Eastside Elementary in Haines City. Eventually, the position he was looking for opened up and he returned to SPL as Reference Librarian in 1999. In 2003, he became Assistant Director of the Highlands County Library System, serving in that role until the position was eliminated during a late round of budget cuts in 2010. Since then, he has been the Computer Support Specialist for the Heartland Library Cooperative. In 2011, he began serving on the Board of Directors of the Tampa Bay Library Consortium.