June 20, 2013 By News Report
The Aurora, Colo., Public Library (APL) launched a public computer center inside a Kmart store in Northern Aurora, which may be one of the first “big box” library computer centers in the country.
The Colfax and Chambers Library Computer Center is a collaboration between Aurora and the Kmart Super Center on East Colfax Avenue, and is located at the front of the store, next to the checkout counters. Banks and credit unions are now located in big box and grocery stores, and the Kmart location will likewise provide high foot traffic and reach citizens who don’t usually go to traditional library locations.
The center offers 11 public computers with Web availability. Customers can print, return library materials and place requests for any item in the Aurora Library System and many other Colorado library systems to be delivered to the site for pick-up. A library staff person is on site Monday through Saturday to assist customers. Plans for the center include free computer classes and other programs.
In late August, a similar but larger computer and youth center will open at the former Hoffman Heights library location at Peoria Street and 14th Avenue. The site will also include a teen/community center operated by the Aurora Parks, Recreation and Open Space department, working in tandem with the Library Computer Center to provide a variety of library and recreational services and programs.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.