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Blog // Connect Ohio

Morgan County's Kate Love Simpson Library Distributes Printers to ECO Participants

By COH Staff

Written by: Ruby Smith

Morgan County’s Kate Love Simpson Library has partnered with Connect Ohio to offer Every Citizen Online (ECO), a statewide broadband training program that aims to increase broadband accessibility and adoption in Ohio. The program provides free basic computer and Internet training designed to help Ohio citizens learn about and feel comfortable using computers.

“During my computer class at Kate Love Library, I learned several things,” said Melanie Sparkman, ECO participant (pictured right). “I have a computer and already used it for e-mail and Facebook. I still learned things that I didn’t know you could do from these. In the future, after taking this class, I plan to do online banking and a few things I would have been afraid to try before. This course was fun and also very helpful.”

In January of this year, partner organizations of ECO received 910 new wireless printers from Connect Ohio, all donated from Lexmark and valued at nearly $100 each. The printers were distributed among the training centers to fulfill the organization’s printing needs or to be used as individualized ECO promotions. The training sites at the Kate Love Simpson Library and the Chesterhill branch decided to create a giveaway–– program participants who successfully completed their full six hours of training were entered in a drawing to win one of three Lexmark printers valued at nearly $100 each.

Printer winner Margaret Van Ness had quite a positive experience training in the ECO program. “I have an e-mail account I use for my independent provider for the Developmental Disabilities individuals,” she said. “When I am working at the library with my special needs people the training has helped me greatly and also when I am on my own time. I hope to have a computer in my home someday soon. I want to thank Connect Ohio Every Citizen Online for the free computer training I received at the Kate Love Simpson Morgan County Library. I had excellent training by instructor Tara Sidwell.”

ECO Instructor Tara Sidwell (left) with ECO Participant and Printer Winner Margaret Van Ness

ECO training includes six hours of instruction on computer basics, an introduction to the Internet and email, and demonstrations on the importance of broadband access in everyday life. The Kate Love Simpson Library sites have trained more than 250 people so far. Fred Balderson, another printer winner, said, “The computer class I took gave me more information on how it works and gave me the courage to get on the Internet and find more things I am looking for.”

ECO Instructor Tara Sidwell (left) with ECO Participant and Printer Fred Balderson


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