Morristown & Morris Township Library
Morristown & Morris Township Library

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The Rotary Club of Morristown and John Bickford Foundation Provide the Library with a Technological Boost

The Rotary Club of Morristown and John Bickford Foundation Provide the Library with a Technological Boost
The Morristown & Morris Township Library was the recipient of two grant awards from the Morristown Rotary Club and the John Bickford Foundation for the purchase of laptops in the Library’s Technology Training Lab. Each $4,000 grant enabled the Library to update all of the laptops in the lab, which are used for public computer classes the Library offers throughout the year as well as for other purposes. The Rotary Club provides grants and sponsorships to organizations in order to better serve the community, while the John Bickford Foundation has a long history of supporting institutions in Morristown.

The Library offers traditional classes in Microsoft Excel and Word and other software-based programs such as photo editing and web browsing software.  In the past, the Library has also offered classes on social media, coding, and even a popular Savvy Seniors class that examines multiple topics in computing.  “We receive a lot of interest, especially in classes in Excel,” says Library director Chad Leinaweaver, “and we began offering classes in Spanish a few years ago that are well-received.  The new laptops really help us to fulfill our mission of providing education to the general public and helping everyone from those learning a new software program for their job or even retirees, like our Savvy Seniors, who just want to stay current with technology.”

However, the Library’s Technology Training Lab is used for more than just computer classes.  Local English as a Second Language (ESL) providers often book the space for classes with their students and over the past several years, certified health care counselors have provided Affordable Care Act information and helped resident sign up with insurance providers.  In addition, Young Adult Librarian Kristie Revicki uses the Technology Training Lab with teenagers in her programs.  For example, this summer, teens engaged in creative writing using Google applications in the Technology Lab in order to write one story altogether.  “With our young adult programming we really try to connect to a student’s creativity,” says Revicki, “whether that creative outlet is art, writing or something else, they all are interested in using technology to develop their own ideas.  Thus the Technology Lab is a great resource for us to all do something as a team.”

The Library’s Technology Training Lab was set up in 2006, when the latest wing was built through a combination of public and private funds.  Although the laptops in the Technology are still currently functional, it was time for an upgrade.  “Here at the Library we are pretty good about getting the maximum amount of use out of our equipment.” says Leinaweaver.  “We find ways to reuse older equipment around the building, but with Windows 10 and the advent of much faster processors, we were in need of new laptops in order to provide patrons with more current software and applications, which they are likely to see at their college or workplace.” 

The Rotary Club of Morristown looks to serve the Morristown community by awarding grants that are in line with the six areas of focus for Rotary International: peace and conflict prevention/resolution; disease prevention; water and sanitation; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; and economic and community development.  The John Bickford Foundation has supported many Morristown institutions since its inception in 1971.  The Foundation has provided support within education, human services and children’s and family services in Morristown and has funded such local institutions such as the Market Street Mission, Preschool Advantage, Good Grief and Cornerstone Family Programs. 

Morristown & Morris Township Library · 1 Miller Rd. · Morristown, NJ 07960 · Tel: 973-538-6161

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