Building Community Networks at Pirtle's & the Word Cafe LIS 451 Suzanne Im Jared Dunn Introduction to Tony Laing Will Kent Network Systems Joel Spencer Nick Lonergan Fall 2010 Greg Hunt Background on the Project • East St. Louis, IL Historical population Census Pop. %± o Corollaries 1870 5,044 --- History of institutional 1880 1890 9,185 15,169 82.1% 65.1% racism 1900 29,734 96.0% Depressed economy 1910 1920 58,540 66,785 96.9% 14.1% and high crime rates 1930 74,397 11.4% Technological and 1940 1950 75,603 82,366 1.6% 8.9% educational 1960 81,728 −0.8% disadvantages 1970 70,029 −14.3% 1980 55,239 −21.1% 1990 40,921 −25.9% 2000 31,542 −22.9% Source: US Census Our Project • Work with small businesses in East St. Louis, IL o New endeavor for ESLARP and LIS 451 o New challenges and risks o Emphasis on sustainability o One large group assigned multiple sites Our Sites • Original focus on three (3) sites 1. Pirtle's Ice Cream Shop 2. The Word Christian Book Store 3. Soul Food Cafe Pirtle's Pirtle's • Local business owned by James Pirtle • Foothold and hub of the community o Part of the community for years, formerly as convenience store, now as ice cream shop o Patrons on a first-name basis o Not just ice cream – community news and gossip, cards, and welcoming atmosphere o Well-connected establishment that can connect community members with technology Before After The Word Cafe The Word • Christian bookstore owned and operated by Gracie Morgan since 1994 o Has expanded tremendously Large cafe space used for various meetings Boutique for ministers and family Other merchandise to meet laymen’s needs • Serves as a hub of information for the substantial ESL religious community o Also caters to children and teenagers in the area Before After Needs Assessment • Two visits to determine how we can help stakeholders utilize what we can offer • Questions asked o How would you like to see this space used? o What technology do you currently have? o How do you want to help your patrons with new technology? o What kind of software do you need to meet your goals? Existing Spaces and Tools Pirtle's The Word • Large unused space Large multipurpose space o space taken up by o Needs to stay unused freezers multipurpose o entire adjacent room • Strong internet connection • One computer used by Mr. (DSL) Pirtle • One extremely outdated computer to upgrade The Process • Analyze and understand the space • Obtain and incorporate feedback • Refurbish donated computers & install needed software • Make desks and a counter • Configure each network • Consider sustainability of solutions Visions for the Spaces Pirtle's The Word • Well-defined, partner knew • Uncertain at first, vision exactly what he wanted. developed over time • Resources for families in • Improve customer transitional housing experience • Resources for Small • Resources for religious Businesses audience • Connect the store to the • Add multimedia capability street, enhance and grow to meeting space an already vibrant • Basic computer classes for community space. seniors Hardware Choices Pirtle's The Word • 5 Dell PCs • 4 Dell PCs • Networked Lexmark • Multimedia printer workstation • Scanner for Mr. • Networked Lexmark Pirtle's machine Printer • AT&T DSL • Wireless Router • AT&T DSL Software Choices Pirtle's The Word • Custom Firefox • Custom Firefox profile profile • MS Office 2003 • MS Office 2003 or • GnuCash Open Office • Educational Games • eSword Bible for Kids • BibleMax • Choir Keeper Custom Firefox Profiles Browser is the primary platform in a public lab, so we concentrated a lot on it. • Bookmarks to resources that fit the needs/interests of patrons • Custom search engines • Custom toolbars • Custom privacy, security, and content settings. Rationale Pirtle's The Word • Software and resources for • Religious / Bible software families in transition and to meet patrons' needs. small business owners • Book and music lookup for ordering. • Multimedia machine for music and presentations, add value and capability to meeting space. Results - Pirtle's • Cleared out a broken freezer • Removed unused shelving • Installed two counter tops (15ft), complete with computer shevles • Constructed six chairs • Installed and networked five computers, a printer, and a scanner. Results - Word Cafe • Installed and networked three lab computers + desks, 1 multimedia workstation, and a printer • • Created an “Easy Reader” logon with large fonts for senior citizens after hearing this was a need. • Plans are underway by site owner to teach basic computer classes on Windows and MS Office. • Provided “How To Manual” for use and maintenance of the computers, with group contact information. Lessons Learned – Pirtle's • Space is a major factor o Cigarette Side o Transformation of Ice Cream Side • Networking A-Z o Pirtle's illustrates that without the proper lab space, complete with counters, chairs, and computers, nothing can happen. • Clear vision allows us to best help him o Also allows for more sustainability Lessons Learned – The Word • The need for flexibility and adaptability in design. • Communication is key. Uncertain site vision until very late. • Community needs are paramount over process and design needs. This balance can be difficult to strike in a class setting. Lessons Learned – Soul Food Cafe • No clear objective • Not all sites work, but don't be disillusioned • Not all contacts work the same way • What we can do to communicate, and with whom we can communicate Future Goals Pirtle's The Word • Full conversion of • Find employees that unused space into can maintain and computer lab operate machines • Connect other sites o Gracie's daughter to maintain and help out to Pirtle's Questions?
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