From the daily archives: Thursday, November 17, 2011

I.V. Weekly-Chronicle 11-17-11



Imperial County Free Library will be offering a new program, Project ACCESS, according to County Librarian Connie Barrington.  The Imperial County Board of Supervisors is being asked to accept a grant in the amount of $10,000 through the California State Library and a donation of $3,500 from Rabobank USA and to approve commencing the project immediately.

ACCESS, which stands for Anyone Can Checkout Electronic Services Simply, will “bring twenty-first century services out to some underserved areas in our library service district”, states Ms. Barrington.

Working with community partners, such as the Seeley Community Church, Westmorland Union School District, and volunteer residents from the community of Ocotillo, four areas (Niland, Ocotillo, Seeley and Westmorland) will receive services that include access to public computers, the Internet and online library services, library programming from computer courses to programs for parents such as “Every Child Ready to Read”, a special collection of materials in English and Spanish, and other services in this new model, which is an alternative to the older book outlet services previously offered.  While community partner locations will have on site collections, having this project allows services to be brought to the area on a periodic basis, providing an expansion of what the County Library can offer residents of those areas.

ACCESS is made possible in part by Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, administered in California by the California State Librarian.  The $10,000 competitive grant will assist with additional staffing costs, allow purchase of the special collection and help with other costs, such as mileage to take the program on the road.

“Wi-Fi on Wheels” is an integral portion of the program, making access to electronic library services available in areas of the County where residents might have difficulty finding public access to the Internet.  It is funded through a generous donation from Rabobank, N.A.  “The monies from Rabobank,” says the County Librarian, “allow us to not only bring public access computing to these targeted communities, they make it possible to expand our computing-related services at our existing four branch locations as well.  This helps bridge the digital divide in our County.”

Rabobank’s donation is funding five laptop computers, necessary computer peripherals and a printer, with Wi-Fi access for the computers, so that it is truly “Wi-Fi on Wheels”. “This is a wonderful organization that provides an essential service to the residents of the Imperial Valley. We are thrilled to be able to help provide this much needed equipment,” said Dave Takata, Regional President for Rabobank, N.A. “We are committed to the communities we serve.”

Rabobank’s staff has been active locally in working to increase both traditional literacy (with sponsorship of programs such as a “backpack” project assisting youth in Westmorland) to taking a leadership role in looking at informational literacy and how technology assists in conjunction with the Imperial County Workforce Development Board and the Imperial County Foundation.

Access to the Internet has been shown to help better prepare job seekers for contemporary work situations, and area students benefit from learning more about utilizing electronic resources, such as those provided by Imperial County Free Library on its website,

“I cannot think of a better example of many people and organizations working together to help the community,” claims Barrington, “and I am delighted to be able to offer these new services thanks to a public/private partnership which truly leverages area resources.”

If the program is approved by the Board of Supervisors and the funding accepted,   ACCESS with “Wi-Fi on wheels” will launch in December of 2011, and specific times and locations for programs will be announced.  For more information, contact Connie Barrington at Imperial County Free Library headquarters, (760) 339-6460.


Soroptimist International of Calexico hosted a Domestic Violence Awareness Forum on Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 in commemoration of the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.  Many women are unaware of the services offered by agencies around the Imperial Valley to combat domestic violence.  This forum was designed to gather agencies who work against domestic violence or who provide assistance to victims of domestic violence in a single location to raise awareness about the resources available in our community.

Over 50 women and girls attended and sought information about current services offered in the Valley to assist victims of domestic violence to attend the event at Enrique Camarena Memorial Library.

Soroptimist is an international organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Almost 95,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories contribute time and financial support to community–based and international projects that benefit women and girls.

Pictured include Imperial Valley Agency representatives who provided information about the services offered to combat domestic violence and provide assistance to victims of domestic violence along with the members of Soroptimist International of Calexico.

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