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Posted: October 25, 2012 10:05 p.m.

A bevy of new computers come to library

Citizens who visit the Newton County Library to use their computers now have some new computers available for browsing the web.

The library replaced 21 computers in the adult area of the library with new Dell commercial-grade computers.

A news release from Newton County Library System director Lace Keaton said the old computers were replaced because they were more than 8 years old and unable to keep up with the demands of current technology.

Keaton said the Newton County Library Board of Trustees voted at their Aug. 2 board meeting to replace the outdated computers and add three additional computers.

"We received daily comments on how slow the computers were and realized we needed to take action to provide better service for our patrons," Keaton said. "Each computer session is 50 minutes long and often patrons were not able to complete their work within the time allotted."

She said the new computers were a part of an effort to improve the services for the patrons. A few Covington residents using the computers on Thursday gave their reviews of the new equipment.

"They have more space on the screen and you can see what you are doing better," Willia Jackson said.

"I think it's great. There were so many problems with the old ones. It's a big improvement," Jim Milligan said.

Keaton said over the past eight years, the 21 computer terminals have logged in more than 369,000 sessions. She said the basic replacement life of a public library computer is generally three years.

She said due to the high volume of anticipated use, the new computers are designed to be more robust and to last longer than a home computer.

The computers were purchased under a state contract for $807 each for a total cost of $19,368.

Keaton said the Heartland Women's Club donated $2,500 from their 2012 Croquet Tournament, which made purchasing several of the new computers possible.

The remainder of the funds for the computers came from the recent sale of the Covington branch reference shelves on the auction site - govdeals.com, which totaled $3,700; cancellation of leases on outdated office equipment, at a total of $7,792; and the remaining amount for the computers of $5,376 came from the general fund.

Keaton said the older computers will be available for auction on govdeals.com.

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