Navajo County, Hopi collaborate on mobile computer lab

Equipment will supplement 'Library on Wheels'

HOLBROOK, Ariz. - In another example of their strong partnership, the Navajo County Library District and Hopi Tribe have successfully collaborated on a $150,000 grant for the creation of a mobile computer lab, with internet services, that will supplement the Tribe's existing "Library on Wheels."

The Native American Enhancement grant, awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Hopi Tribe, will pay for the purchase of a van equipped with new computers with access to the internet, creating a mobile computer lab that will service residents of the Hopi Tribe. The van will accompany the tribe's existing Library on Wheels on its regularly-scheduled route.

"This award is tremendous news," said Library District Director Geneva Durkee, who provided administrative support to the tribe in its application. "This grant will allow the Hopi Tribe to bring internet services to its residents, rather than forcing residents to travel long distances to access the internet. In addition, the tribe will soon have access to several subscription databases which Library District provides."

Noreen Sakiestewa, Director of Education of the Hopi Tribe and Project Director for the Enhancement grant, agreed.   

"By using this grant to purchase a computer lab on wheels with computers and internet to operate in tandem with our existing mobile library, the tribe will make it possible for residents of remote villages to learn essential computer skills and enjoy the benefits of internet access," she said.

The computer lab on wheels to projected to be in operation during the summer of 2011. The grant enables the Hopi Tribe to purchase a van, six computers, two laptops, and software, as well as hire a full-time computer lab technician, and have funds for fuel over the two-year grant period.

Currently the Library on Wheels is on the road four days a week, Monday through Thursday, visiting 14 Hopi villages over the course of two weeks. Usage has been phenomenal in the year that the library has been in operation.

Navajo County Supervisor Jesse Thompson applauded Durkee and Sakiestewa for their collaboration.

"This is a great example of what can happen when different agencies work together on a common goal. Members of the Hopi Tribe will experience a higher quality of life, thanks to the availability of the internet and the hard work of the Navajo County Library District and Hopi Education Department," he said.

The Navajo County Library District strives to provide all county residents, including reservation residents, access to library materials, information services and electronic media via local town, community, and tribal public libraries. Established in 1996, and functional since 1997, the Navajo County Library District administers support services to 13 affiliate libraries, including tribal libraries in Cibecue, McNary, Whiteriver, Kayenta and the Hopi Reservation.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov.

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