Blog // Connect Ohio
ECO Participant Wins Laptop Courtesy of Frontier Communications
Written by Rachel Rothacher, Tuscarawas County Public Library
Jan Speicher of Strasburg was the winner of a free laptop computer courtesy of Frontier Communications. Jan’s name was randomly selected from a pool of participants who either referred a friend to Connect Ohio’s Every Citizen Online basic computer training through the Tuscarawas County Public Library System, or were referred to the training from March to August 2012.
“I had never been on a computer before, and I learned a lot,” said Speicher. “I never thought I could use a computer at my age, the classes were very helpful and I now feel confident using a computer. The instructor was very patient and willing to answer everyone’s questions. He was the perfect instructor for someone who doesn’t have any experience.”
Strasburg Branch Manager, Brenda West, was thrilled that Speicher won the drawing. “She is a regular library user and active in the community.” West said that Speicher participates in book discussions, is a member of the Friends of the Strasburg Library, and used to bring her grandchildren to the storytimes. “It means a lot that someone who is a big supporter of one of our smaller community libraries won.”
West added that she is pleased by how many Strasburg residents have shown interest in the training. “A lot of people who take the classes are not regular patrons. Just people looking to gain computer skills so they can keep up with the changing world.” These skills will be especially important as services from the Social Security Administration and others are moving to the internet. Retirement, disability, and Medicare applications are already available online, and annual Social Security statements are now sent electronically.
“We are pleased to be able to bring this training to all of our branch communities,” said library director Michelle McMorrow Ramsell. “Our technology classes are in high demand, and we are happy to be able to bring these resources to our residents.”
More than 400 people have already completed the basic computer training through the county library since January 2011. The free training is designed for those with little or no experience with computers and teaches them how to turn a computer on, operate a mouse and keyboard, browse the internet, and set up and use an email account. The training is offered at the county library’s main library in New Philadelphia, its branches in Bolivar and Tuscarawas, the Ramada Limited in Strasburg, and the Carlisle Inn in Sugarcreek.
"With Frontier Communications’ continued Internet service expansion efforts combined with Connect Ohio’s basic computer training through the library, Ohio is making great strides in bridging the existing digital divide and helping citizens get connected," said Kevin Wallick, General Manager of Frontier Communication’s Eastern Ohio operations.
As part of its broadband commitment to Ohio, Frontier Communications recently extended broadband service in several areas throughout Tuscarawas County.
“Frontier is thrilled to continue our ongoing partnership with Connect Ohio and foster broadband initiatives with the Tuscarawas County Public Library System through computer donations,” said Wallick. “We’ll continue to invest and build out our network throughout 2012 and beyond to deliver broadband services to even more Ohioans.”
The Connect Ohio basic computer training, which is offered as two three-hour classes, is free, but registration is required. Those wishing to register may call 330-364-4474 ext. 101. Space is limited, but additional classes will be offered based upon waiting lists.
Pictured left to right: Kevin Wallick, General Manager Eastern Ohio Frontier Communications, Brenda West, Manager of the Strasburg Location of the Tuscarawas County Public Library, Jan Speicher, winner of the laptop computer, and Tim Coolman, Technical Manager Frontier Communications.