What’s Working: The Eudora Welty Library

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — The Jackson Hinds Library system recently cut the ribbon on three new resource areas at the Eudora Welty Branch Downtown.

Keeping up with the times is essential as we barrel into the future at broadband speed. The largest library in the Metro is doing just that.

Don’t let the quietness fool you. A simple library card can unlock limitless knowledge and plenty of technology too.

The Computer Commons streams information to library users at 300 megabytes per second.

Patty Furr is the Executive Director of the Jackson Hinds Library System.

“There are 44 computers that can be accessed, by the public, absolutely free through their library card, and we’ve seen a tremendous number of people interested in them, coming in and using them,” Furr said.

“We call it the technology learning lab, where we can have live computer courses going on all day long,” said Furr.

Keyboarding, Microsoft Word, Microsoft XL. The library is standing by to teach people the skills to land a job. But it’s the third recent improvement, which has Furr the most pleased.

“Well the autism room is probably the most exciting,” she said.

“When they come now, they say, ‘Oh, we are going to our room.’ So, having this room has really helped us,” said Ruth Jinkiri, an autism specialist.

The United Way donated the computers, and books for parents with children on the spectrum. Jinkiri helps individuals or groups with everything from basic communication to handling money, and it’s free.

“So, yes, we are seeing a lot of breakthroughs,” Jinkiri said. Innovative services that communities need. That is the library of today.

“People used to think that libraries would die, that books would be kind of an antiquated book warehouse, but libraries are so much more,” Furr said.

If you’d like to take on of those computer classes, you can every Monday through Thursday. A full-time technology trainer is on staff. Those classes are free.

Sunday’s used to see a mad dash for computers at the library. Now, there are plenty of computers for everyone to use, every day of the week.

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