Public Computer Center Setup Tips

Wed, June 15, 2011 by Moira Vahey

Supplies on hand? Check.
Equipment cataloged? Check.
Student union volunteers standing by? Check.

Setting up a public computer center is no small task. Fortunately, one BTOP project, Philadelphia’s Freedom Rings, created a step-by-step account of a recent “Setup Day” for a local public computer center. The article details the steps the grantee and local community members took to get the center up and running and offers tips on items such as laying out the classroom, cataloging equipment, and installing an operating system.

Public computer centers can be a lifeline for those who cannot afford a computer or Internet access at home. Many BTOP-funded public computer centers also provide training for people to develop the skills needed to use technology effectively and participate in the 21st century workforce.

This account can be a helpful resource for other public computer grantees – or other groups that are developing their own computer centers.

We encourage you to take a look at “How to Create a Public Computer Center” on the website of The New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative, a contractor for the City of Philadelphia’s Freedom Rings project.

By sharing best practices, BTOP grantees can leverage their efforts to benefit other grant recipients and the broader community going forward as we work to help close the digital divide.

Congratulations to the volunteers and workers that participated in the Freedom Rings Setup Day!

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