The Library & Learning Center houses a 5-station computer lab, where not only basic computer skills are taught to people of all ages, but where children play educational games that help them with literacy and math. High school students spend considerable time accessing the library’s books for research assignments and then preparing those assignments in the computer lab. This has given us an opportunity to make friends with the village youth.
The computer lab has made very tangible contributions to the lives of people. One young man was able to compete successfully for a job requiring computer skills, and another received a job promotion because he was the only worker who knew how to use spreadsheet software. The local community association board of directors have taken classes, as have the board members for the community-based lending institution. There is a continual backlog of requests for computer training.
The lack of transportation makes it virtually impossible for schoolchildren in other towns to visit the library and the computer lab. However, with transportation provided by the Floating Library boat, children from other small pueblos along the river are now able to come for a field trip, spend time in the computer lab (which may be the only opportunity for many of them) and be able to say, “hey, I used a computer once!”