YOUNGSTOWN -- Sixty computers from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have been installed in Mahoning County's public libraries thanks to a $214,768 Gates Foundation grant for computers and hardware, bringing the number of public computers in county libraries to 111.
The Gates grant added 24 computers to the main library, bringing its total number of public computers to 43. The Gates computers are "very fast" Gateway computers featuring plenty of the newest available software, said Janet S. Loew, library communications and public relations director.
Other locations: The other Gates computers are being distributed as follows: five each at the Youngstown South Side, Campbell, North Lima and Sebring branches; three each at the Youngstown West Side and Struthers branches; and two each at the Youngstown East Side and North Side, Brownlee Woods, Lowellville and Lake Milton branches.
Under terms of the foundation grant, the Gates computers are being targeted primarily to lower-income areas, Loew said. She added, however, that similar computers will be in all other library branches.
Within the next few weeks, as soon as data lines can be installed for Internet access, all library branches will have at least one computer terminal, Loew said. Only a few branches are still without them, she added. The Gates grant is also paying for purchase of 12 laser printers, Internet hardware and wiring and computer training for library staff.