When you think of the public library, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it the smell of old paper, wafting nostalgically through the asbestos laden air? Is it seeing the old timers reading the newspaper, coffee in hand? For many, the library is a place of timeless memories, of learning about far away places, and of relaxation.
However (and surprisingly), the computer kiosks are a draw for some. Horatio Smith, 38, from Cedar Park, drove all the way to Brownwood after learning about the technology offered.
“It’s like a time machine!” he exclaimed, upon learning that the Brownwood Public Library has Corel Office 2000 with WordPerfect. Smith grinned and nodded as he used the software product, noting the differences in Microsoft Office and WordPerfect. “It had different keyboard shortcuts, that’s for sure!” said Smith. His joy quickly turned into sorrow, as he encountered the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). “Well, you don’t see that much anymore. I forgot how much I hated Windows 98” said Smith, last seen loudly banging CTRL+ALT+DEL.
“Like any good library, we keep historical newspapers, documents, books.. we figured why not become historians of software too? Plus, our budget is roughly that of your newspaper” wryly stated new librarian Reba Bell.
“We do have a couple of Dells that have the internet so people can visit http://yourtexasbenefits.com and view the TDCJ Jail Log, but most of our guests enjoy using Corel products.”
Bell plans to seek $30 from the City of Brownwood to aid in producing a new static display “Floppies from America Online”, but hasn’t yet ruled out using CD-ROMs as accent pieces.
Additionally, 2 of the computers will be retrofitted with FreeDOS, a modern implementation of MS-DOS 6.22. Windows 3.11 for Workgroups will be installed, allowing patrons to play Minesweeper and SkiFree.
Bell hopes these changes will lead more people to the library in the future. We at the Examiner agree, and earnestly hope they get the card catalog working soon. 16 years is a long time, and the Examiner feels that Austin Avenue’s reconstruction may take just as long, but that’s neither here nor there.