The Public Resource Technology Center is a combination of a public library and the Orient-Macksburg District school library. This project was accomplished through the collaboration and enhancement of city and school resources and facilities while maintaining the intent and current administration of each facility. Our grant was one of six chosen from among 106 applications from across the United States. The Center's conception was through a $15,000 grant from Managing Information with Rural America (MIRA) program initiated by the Kellogg Technology Initiative. A group of at least 10 interested citizens, attended six, six-hour long training sessions while striving to meet other specified qualifications. There were less than ten combined school community libraries in the State of Iowa, when the possibility of such a project was first investigated. Orient, a small rural community, established a volunteer library in 1986, until 1996. For the following two years, no services were available. The Center opened on September 1, 1999. Holdings of both the school and volunteer library were inventoried. Volunteers moved library books to the new location. The combined holdings were then readied for retrospect conversion paid for by the grant. Two IBM compatible computers were purchased with the monies received. Various activities have been held to maintain interest in this new venture to include: Open houses, decorated Christmas tree contest, six week summer programming for children and adults and displays of personal collections. Resources now provided: Increased volume and usage of all publications. Training sessions for the public on use of basic computer programs, Internet, Web page development, Internet business marketing, and use of ICN for business/community communication. Conversion of paper records to MARC form with attached bar codes to all holdings. Electronic automation of all library materials (public and school) for expanded selection and having access to statewide master catalog. Updates of all publications, books, videos, large-print materials, and audio books. Expansion of public use/access of IBM compatibles and Macintosh computers. Handicapped accessibility with ample parking. The focus for the Center is to provide extended hours for students, and to bring in older adults for continued interest.
Interested in more history? Check out the Iowa Historical Society.