Upgrades coming to Lee-Itawamba Library System [Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo :: ]
(Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (Tupelo) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 12--TUPELO -- Library patrons in Lee and Itawamba counties this fall should see quicker and more reliable Internet access.
The national Institute of Museum and Library Services approved a grant to upgrade the Lee-Itawamba Library System's computer network at both libraries.
Library patrons rarely think about the computer network at the public facility unless something goes awry, such as access denial to wireless Internet services.
Library system director Jeff Tomlinson said increased wireless devices in both Tupelo and Fulton on the computer networks have prevented some patrons from gaining access.
Smartphones, laptops and tablets used at the libraries require an Internet protocol, often called IP, address to gain access. The limited number of IP addresses are at maximum limits.
"Our server and network equipment have held us back," Tomlinson said.
Along with allowing for more IP addresses, the $10,858 matching grant provided through the Mississippi Library Commission also will allow for upgrades to network switches and stronger data security at both libraries.
A second federal grant will deliver improved services much more visible to the Itawamba County-Pratt Memorial Library. Also funded as part of the national Library Services and Technology Act, the library in Fulton will replace the eight computers, purchased in 2006, with a dozen new computers.
Altogether, the equipment and technology upgrades will total more than $24,000, requiring the local library system to pay about $2,400 toward the upgrades. The local library system competed against others throughout the state for the federal grants.
Tomlinson said the libraries likely will begin using the new equipment this fall.
Jeffrey Martin, manager of the Itawamba County Library, said the new computers and server will allow the library to provide improved resources when visitors search and apply for jobs, do research, and use other applications requiring modern technology.
"We don't want people to enter the library and equipment won't allow them to complete what they want to do," Martin said.
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