New technology programs at St. Clairsville Library

T-L Photo/ ROBERT A. DEFRANK Ron Woods, facilities and computer services manager at the St. Clairsville Public Library, works with some of the robots he will be teaching patrons to program. The library has received a grant to launch technological programs.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Patrons of all ages at the St. Clairsville Public Library will have the chance to learn more about technology, thanks to some new programs the library will be launching this April.

The library received an EQT Skill Builder grant of $23,000 from the corporation, which is the largest producer of natural gas in the United States. The grant aims to help the library offer technology educational programs to children, teens, adults and seniors.

Library Director Doug Walsh said the facility will use the grant money to purchase different technology kits and devices to teach practical skills. He said the year will feature workshops and training. Some of the activities will include programming and directing small robots to move and perform simple tasks such as drawing lines with different colored markers, and they will react to colors. The programs will also teach design and problem-solving skills.

“We worked with the Friends of the Library, and so together we submitted the grant. It was to purchase technology and offer programs with the technology. We wanted to have programs for all different age groups. Children, teens, adults, seniors — we’re going to offer those programs throughout the year.”

Walsh added that the programs are open to adults who wish to build job skills or who are simply curious. Specific programs already are being planned for school-age children, teens, adults and seniors. One of the first programs will use robots with sixth grade classes at the St. Clairsville Middle School.

“We’ll actually go to the school and provide it at the classroom,” Walsh said.

He said the library staff is working on fun exercises to learn new technology. These include an upcoming workshop in its TechGirlz series. Participants will use modeling software to design jewelry and then use a 3-D printer to make their jewelry.

“Libraries offer access to technology and information. Libraries are also unique in that they provide a place for all ages to learn. The St. Clairsville library is lucky to have staff that are especially strong in technology training, and now we have more resources to help and to share,” Walsh said

This grant will expand on other technology that the library offers. Card holders can already borrow Wifi hotspots and Kindles at the library. Recent program workshops have taught electronics, building computers, spreadsheets and graphic design. With this grant, the library will buy laptops, iPads, design software and special kits that teach electricity, robotics, 3-D printing, design, animation and hydraulics.

Besides technology skills, the library’s workshops will build other career and life skills such as creativity, logic and reasoning, teamwork, problem solving, planning and leadership.

The library’s first training program will be with all of the sixth grade science classes at the St. Clairsville school on April 12.

Walsh thanked EQT Corp., adding that the EQT Foundation focuses its resources on areas that have a direct effect on the stability of communities.

The St. Clairsville Public Library is located at 108 W. Main Street. The library is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The library can be reached at 740-695-2062 or www.stclibrary.org.

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