This week, another step forward was made toward the goal of helping improve literacy in Ardmore with the grand opening of the new literacy computer lab at the Ardmore Public Library.
Thanks to grant funding from the American Library Association and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the library welcomed community leaders and city officials Wednesday to view the new lab, complete with 18 computer workstation, a teacher work space and a smartboard.
Located in the Ben and Dolores Curtis room, tucked near the magazine section, the literacy lab will provide basic-to-advanced computer classes. Classes will include introduction classes to Microsoft Office, digital photography, social media, Google tools and website development. Additionally, technology-based English language learning classes will be offered in the literacy lab, says Elizabeth Negrete, literacy coordinator for the library.
The lab will also be used for citizenship classes, she said.
Negrete was hired by the library to serve as a literacy coordinator, with an emphasis on digital literacy. The library is one of many organizations in Ardmore dedicated to participating in the literacy initiative which strives to serve the community through English language services, GED classes, adult education, citizenship preparation and youth literacy.
The computer classes to be offered in the literacy lab will be a first for the Ardmore library. Additionally, the lab will be open when classes are not in session, opening up more computers for use at the public library.
Negrete said the lab can be used by community businesses for workforce development or training.
In August, the library will begin enrollment for classes, and following Labor Day, classes will begin.
“I am excited about the possibilities,” Negrete said. “There is a lot we can do for the community here.”