Valley of the Tetons Library: $5,000
The Community Foundation of Teton Valley is honored to award a $5,000 grant to the Valley of the Tetons Library to replace and upgrade its technology equipment. The Foundation strongly supports the library’s work and believes that replacing its computers will provide an immediate impact through improved functionality, increased access, and better service to the community.
Valley of the Tetons Library (VTL) seeks to replace outdated and inoperable technology— most of which has been in operation for ten years or more. Many existing computers will not boot up and have been removed, some crash repeatedly and require staff to reboot them several times each day, and some can’t support current software or internet applications. Despite its best efforts to creatively repurpose parts and systems, the TVL has reached a point where it is impossible to operate with its existing equipment.
Beyond books, the library is a vital resource for the Teton Valley community, particularly those without computers or residential internet service. In today’s digital world, accessing information through the internet is not a luxury but an essential tool. Examples of those technological needs are myriad – creating a resume, applying for a job, participating in a video conference call, or simply doing research are all essential tasks.
Additionally, the library depends on technology to serve the community adequately. At VTL’s two branches and Makerspace location, the circulation computers track the “ins and outs” of books, tools, movies, audiobooks, and more. Computers help VTL librarians process interlibrary loans or research answers to patron questions on every topic imaginable. Staff also use computers to provide essential library services—making program flyers, bookkeeping, writing a newsletter, preparing board agendas, filing state reports, purchasing new materials, creating spine labels, cataloging
books, and more. Behind the scenes, there are just three workspace computers to serve a staff of 15. In short, VTL’s technology serves both residents and the internal infrastructure of the library itself – all essential services for successful operations. Its technological needs are real and immediate.
The Community Foundation grant will assist in replacing TVL’s aging technology—the highest priority items include the public, circulation, and staff computers, as well as laptops and tablets to ensure that it can continue to provide the same high level of service and resources expected at the library as the needs of the community evolve. VTL has worked with a local IT company, Compunet, and together they have thoroughly researched what equipment is needed in each area of the library to meet patrons’ needs best and ensure that resources are used most efficiently and in an impactful way. This comprehensive technology overhaul will replace computers, printers, and servers. Further, TVL plans to add new equipment for community meetings and conferencing capability, hotspots, and self-checkout of materials to improve patron privacy and ease of use.
The Community Foundation commends the important work of the Valley of the Tetons Library in updating and overhauling its technology to serve better the growth and change in Teton Valley residents’ technology needs and to enable library staff to spend more time serving patrons and less time troubleshooting technology glitches. These changes will be implemented quickly, used extensively throughout the valley, and serve the community for many years.