Attractive Statesville

Local History Notes

Notes about the history of Iredell County by Joel Reese, Local History Librarian.

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Dec 30

Computers for Everyone at the Library

Posted on December 30, 2019 at 8:57 AM by Jenny Levins

The Iredell County Public Library in Statesville has recently updated its public access computers for adults, young adults, and children. Kyle Broome, our PC specialist with Iredell County Information Technology Services (ITS) has been working the past few weeks on upgrading our computers to make them run faster while adding software needed by the public. Patrons can now create and type up documents and print them out at the library or save them to a flash drive that they purchase and bring with them. The flash drive, also called a thumb drive, is inserted into the front of the computer and is used to save or store documents, photos, or images. Many families and individuals in Iredell do not have computers at home and use the library’s computers which are the only free public access computers in the area. You only need a current library card and its barcode number to use the computers.

The library in Statesville now has 33 computers (soon to be 40) located in the Reference Dept. on the top floor available for the public to access the Internet. There are also 8 computers in Youth Services, and 8 each in the Troutman and Harmony Library branches. The computers for adult use have been loaded with Microsoft Office 2013 Standard Edition which includes the latest versions of Word, Excel, Publisher, and PowerPoint. Word processing programs basically replaced the typewriter. Now everyone does their typing on a computer. I am typing this article on a computer using Word. Patrons visiting the library use Word to create resumes, write cover letters, type up reports, and even class papers.

Microsoft Excel is the industry standard for creating spreadsheets.  A spreadsheet is a computer program used to create a form on the computer that replaces an accounting worksheet. An Excel form has areas called cells where you put in numbers or words that is then organized into rows and columns. The user can use Excel’s formulas to store the data or to make calculations. Almost all businesses today use a spreadsheet program for their accounting needs. Excel can also be used to create an inventory list or even to organize the names on a list or make an index. Say you need to make a list of all church members. With Excel you could enter and alphabetize the names and later remove or add names without having to retype the entire list.

People often visit the library to create flyers for advertisement, wedding announcements, or even birthday cards or group bulletins. You can create all these on Microsoft Publisher a basic desktop publishing program used to create a document on a computer that often incorporates images and graphics. You can start with a blank page on the screen and type in what you want to say and add images. Publisher also comes with templates which are pages already designed to make creating your brochure, business card, calendar, label, newsletter, or greeting card easier. The template or layout is already there so all you have to do is enter your information and decide how you want it to look. Printing at the library is 30 cents a page in color or black and white and patrons often take the documents they create here to printing companies to have them mass produced or put on special paper.

I sometimes do programs for groups on the library, local history, or genealogy. I often use Microsoft PowerPoint when making these presentations. PowerPoint is basically a slideshow you create on the computer that you can then show on a computer or on a large movie type screen using a projector attached to your computer. When I did a presentation on the library’s photograph collection I put the photographs in the order I wanted with the accompanying information using PowerPoint. Once I created the slideshow I saved it on a flash drive. I could then take the slideshow with me on the disc to put into another laptop computer to show on a screen using a projector attached to the computer. The library has a laptop, projector, and screens for groups to use in our meeting rooms. We have also added Smart Boards or Smart Screens that allow you to plug the laptop directly into the screen and play the presentation without the use of a projector.


Joel Reese, Local History Librarian

Iredell County Public Library

This article was published in the Statesville Record and Landmark as “Library computers get boost” on Sept. 4, 2015