Patrons of the Mohave County Library District will find more reasons to frequent their local library beginning in early 2001.
Bonnie Campbell, library director, said the library district received a $400,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that will be used to add 31 new computers throughout Mohave County.
Distribution of the new computers will be as follows: four each to branches in Kingman, Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City with one of each of those to be totally Spanish language; two in South Mohave Valley and one each in rural libraries in Chloride, Oatman, Golden Shores/Topock, Dolan Springs, Meadview, and Beaver Dam/Littlefield.
Campbell said 11 new computers will also be added to the computer lab in Lake Havasu, the only location big enough to take them and because the Gates Foundation insisted that part of the package not be broken up.
"Hardware and software are not all that is included in the grant," Campbell said.
"There's also installation and training costs for library personnel to learn to use the new computers."
While hardware and software will be delivered and put into operation between December and March, maintenance and training will be ongoing for three years, she said.
Representatives of the Gates Foundation were in Kingman on Thursday to conduct the third in a series of training workshops for library personnel.
In addition, two library employees will go to foundation headquarters in Seattle in the future.
"They will take the Gates library model computer apart there and rebuild it so a couple of our people will have knowledge of every little screw," Campbell said.
"This is part of an investment the Gates Foundation is making to improve library and literary services in Mohave County."
The Gates library computers will have Internet access, word processing packages and selected software reference packages, she said.
One employee from each branch library and one from each rural library will be trained on the new computers.
They should be proficient enough to train all other library employees by the first of the year, she said.
The Gates Foundation contacted the Arizona State Library with the offer for new library computers through grants.
In turn, the state library passed the information along to county libraries, she said.
Helping her write the grant request for Mohave County were library staffers Julie Huelsbeck, Marian Craig, Ferrell Morgan, John Johnson and former manager Mary Musgrave, Campbell said.
The grant was submitted last spring and awarded in late July, she said.