Heard it Here

Wake Forest Students Cover Downtown Winston-Salem

Technological Advances Enhance Forsyth County Central Library

After three years of renovations and construction, the reopening of the Forsyth County Public Library is complete.

“There is a whole new vibe in this library compared to our old library,” said Billy King, the library’s central operations manager.

There are a lot of new things happening at the library ranging from technology, workspace and even a new café for library cardholders. Some of the biggest changes include the natural lighting, open spaces, self-checkout stations, desktop computers, comfortable seating options and easy access to a charging station.

Upon entering the building visitors are struck by an open atrium with daylight streaming through the windows. The new café is on one’s right and the children’s section to one’s left.

On Monday, almost every single desktop computer was in use on the first floor. Many community members were taking advantage of the worktables that have built in charging stations where they were able to charge their laptops as well.

Tyler Stinson, a tech payee, sitting behind one of the first information desks near the desktop computers on the first floor discussed all of the new technologies on this particular floor.

“The first row of computers are for fifteen minute usage and the ones behind it can be used for one hour,” Stinson said.

Computers available on other floors have no time restrictions; so many people use those for research paper type projects.

“We offer training classes on Mondays and Wednesdays for anyone who may need help making things such as a resume,” Stinson said when asked about classes the library has to offer.

The library also offers beginner to immediate computer proficiency classes for anyone who is a cardholder.

Stinson also said that a new sound room that will be opening in October. Cardholders can use the tools available in the room or even bring their own tools as well. Some of these tools include an Apple desktop computer rather than a PC, a keyboard piano and microphones. Community members could use this room to record music or even make a short film/movie if these tools weren’t available to them in their homes, at their work or in their schools.

There are assistive technologies offered on the first floor as well for anyone who may need these services. Some of these technologies include devices that can read stories back to you or a large print and braille keyboard.

On the third floor, Karen Feeney, the supervisor of the library’s North Carolina room was more than excited to share new technologies that were offered in this portion of the library. This room serves as their history/genealogy section.

The two biggest technological additions to the room were microfilms of local newspapers dating all the way back to the 18th century and the book scanner.

“Having the microfilms is nice because the paper that newspapers are printed on don’t always age well,” Feenley said, explaining why the microfilms were such beneficial technology.

King also mentioned that the teen central section has new technologies such as the maker space, the latest version of an Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo, a large green screen and two gaming computers.

With papers spread all over, a book wide open and a laptop charging at a worktable, Rafael Fagundo, a student in the Masters in management program at Wake Forest University, worked on a paper for one of his classes.

“I come to the library because it’s convenient to my apartment downtown and it’s equipped with my technology needs,” Fagundo said.

In 2010, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners put the library bond on the ballot. Upon getting the ballot passed for a lower price, commissioners waited for other bonds to retire to issue the bonds for the new library. Both the bond campaign and the years it took to design and construct the library is what took the renovations so long, according to reporting by the Winston-Salem Journal.

For more information on the Forsyth County Central Library please visit http://www.forsyth.cc/library/default.aspx.

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