ShareThis Page

Donation allows Freeport library to transform tech center

| Saturday, July 13, 2013, 1:16 a.m.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
Steve Dorinsky, of Cheswick, (left) is shown working in the new technology center at the Freeport Area Library. Steve stops in at the library several times a month while he's in town visiting a friend. He was at the library during the unveiling of the tech center that David Michael (right) was attending on Friday, July 12, 2013.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
Steve Dorinsky, of Cheswick, (left) is working in the new technology center at the Freeport Area Library at one of the several new computers. Dorinsky stops in at the library several times a month while he's in town visiting a friend. He was visiting the library during the unveiling of the library's tech center on Friday, July 12, 2013.

A corner of the Freeport Area Library has been transformed into a modern technology center.

“We used to have old, worn-out desks with old, worn-out computers that didn't work half the time,” said Donna Michael, president of the library board of directors. “We made do, but we were always fixing.”

The Freeport Area Library on Friday unveiled its new technology center — with three new desktop computers, one laptop and a wireless printer.

The center was made possible through a $25,000 donation from NiSource Midstream Services, a Columbia Pipeline Group company.

The space features a dark brown, hardwood floor, a contemporary, white wooden-slat wall, a partitioned workspace for each computer and ergonomic furniture.

Patron Steve Dorinsky, 61, of Cheswick said it was a surprise to walk in and see the new computer area.

“I thought it was pretty neat,” said Dorinsky, who uses both the Freeport and Springdale libraries. “There's more room now.”

Michael said the library chose local companies to do the work, including Salsgiver Internet and Telecommunication Services, which provided the computers and networking services.

The Canvas Art & Gift Shop in Freeport will provide rotating artwork for the space.

The library hopes the technology provides younger members with an additional resource and older residents with a tool to improve basic computer skills.

The library has about 1,400 cardholders.

NiSource is the company that installed a 57-mile, high-pressure natural gas pipeline that runs through many Alle-Kiski Valley communities from Butler Township to Westmoreland County.

Library Association board member Kay Covone, also a member of the South Buffalo Township Planning Commission, learned that NiSource had grant money available for nonprofits from a NiSource representative who attended a commission meeting to discuss the pipeline project.

The library had to complete an extensive grant application, said head librarian Nancy Hagins.

“We wrote that's what we wanted to do: put a whole new center in and make it a place where people want to come,” she said.

It's important for the library to have upgraded technology because the facility proctors tests such as real estate licensing exams and teachers conduct tutoring there, Hagins said.

State Rep. Jeff Pyle, R-Ford City, who represents portions of Armstrong and Indiana counties, said libraries are an important resource in any community.

He said he spent many hours in a library as a child.

“My mom valued reading, and I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that valued education,” Pyle said during remarks at the library's open house.

Freeport Mayor James Swartz Jr. said he was pleased to hear about the donation.

“That's good for the library, because we don't get any state money for our library,” he said.

Hagins said people from any community can buy a Freeport Area library card.

The cost is $15 for a family, $10 for adults and $2 for children.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.