News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

December 6, 2006

TWO NEW COMPUTERS, ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT FOR EVERY MANITOBA RURAL AND NORTHERN PUBLIC LIBRARY: ROBINSON


Province Invests $1.1 Million To Improve Technology Infrastructure

Culture, Heritage and Tourism Minister Eric Robinson announced today that Manitoba’s rural and northern public libraries will receive $1.1 million to improve technology infrastructure.
 
“Libraries have become essential providers of online information in their communities, especially in our more remote locations.  This funding will now enable all rural and northern public libraries to purchase two new computers with large-screen monitors, one colour laser printer, a wireless access point appliance and a video projector,” said Robinson. “In addition, the $1.1 million in funding will enhance the regional libraries’ ability to purchase a database/Internet server and library management software to either introduce or improve network capabilities.”
 
Public libraries can help ensure fair access to information technologies for all community members, said Robinson. Through a combination of accessibility and expertise, they have become the preferred public Internet access points in many communities.
 
“As more and more services and information resources are made available in online formats - sometimes only in online formats - there is a real risk of leaving community members without Internet access behind. In the recent provincial review of public libraries we heard that it has been difficult for libraries to upgrade their aging computer equipment.  This $1.1 million in funding will address that concern and help keep libraries up to date with the latest technology.”
 
The review of public library services was conducted with the goal of improving access to library services for all Manitobans. The final report, Reaching Our Vision:  Providing High Quality, Sustainable Public Library Services for all Manitobans, identifies eight recommendations that address the use of technology and partnerships to maintain and enhance the quality of Manitoba’s library system.  The investment announced today will help deliver an enhanced provincial library network for sharing library resources, the minister said.
 
Based on the recommendations from the review, a four-year action plan has been developed to ensure that all Manitobans have access to a library.  The action plan also addresses sustainability challenges and ways to strengthen the quality of service within the public library system. 
 
“Collectively, Manitoba’s public libraries are an important provincial resource and individually each library is a cornerstone institution in its community,” added Robinson.  “I am pleased that our government continues to recognize this role and to support Manitoba’s public libraries in their important work.” 
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