QUINCY — The era of crashing computers at Quincy Public Library may soon be over, thanks in part to the purchase of new computers and technology.
The purchase is made possible by a $50,000 contribution from the Quincy Township Library Board.
"We are very appreciative of them because we couldn't do it without their support," said Quincy Public Library Director Kathleen Helsabeck, who announced at Tuesday's meeting of the Quincy Public Library Board of Trustees that the library would be replacing 15 nearly 10-year-old computers. Also being replaced are three staff laptops and three barcode scanners.
"We are 10 years down the road from the when the library was remodeled and many of these computers were installed," Helsabeck said. "Keep in mind that these computers have a lot of use; there is a lot of wear and tear on these computers."
Officials said 8,975 people entered the library's doors in December. Helsabeck said many of those people used the computers.
"Students use the computers for online coursework. We have patrons who will come to the library to work on resumes, job applications and cover letters. This year there is the added necessity to have these computers because it is a census year, and this year the census is almost completely online, so there is going to be a lot of people using the computers," Helsabeck said.
The decennial counting of the American population is set for April 1, 2020. The federal government says it will mail invitations to the online census form in mid-March.
The library also plans to apply for a $30,000 federal grant that would help the library fund additional technology upgrades related to the computers.
Adding to the urgency of these technology upgrades is the end of service life for the Windows 7 Operating System, which was set to end Tuesday.
Microsoft said it will no longer provide security upgrades and updates to computers that operate on that system. Customer service from Microsoft also is no longer available.
Helsabeck said she and other members of the library board are looking to replace and upgrade computers in phases.
"We are just trying to be as resourceful as we can because we know this is a big expense," Helsabeck said.