The Auburn Public Library has forged a significant collaboration with Best Buy over the last year.
For the past two months, the employees at Best Buy have volunteered their time to come to the library and help library customers during our "Thursdays with Techies" hour. Patrons come with all sorts of devices ranging from laptops with the Windows 8 system to iPads and smartphones. When the doors open every Thursday there are between 6 to 12 people waiting for assistance.
At a time where many Maine libraries have been faced with difficult budget cutbacks, this model of cooperation exemplifies how private business can positively impact non-profit outreach and services. The patrons of the Auburn Public Library have been thrilled with the kindness, patience, and knowledge of the Best Buy employees.
We have also worked with Best Buy through their Children’s Foundation Community Grant to equip our "CREATE! Media Lab." (Watch the video below, for more information.) In 2012, we put together a grant proposal for funds to help support workshops and programs in our new CREATE! Media Lab, the construction of which was funded by a generous grant from Proctor & Gamble. We received an $8,000 grant for software and equipment, enabling us to offer workshops teaching iPhoto, iMovie, Audacity, and Photoshop (just to name a few). More importantly, it has tied us into our community by allowing us to reach out to members of the community who are experts in their fields (for example, Bates College professors, a local photographer, and a comic book artist), bringing them into the lab to lead some of our workshops. This, in turn, has introduced our teens to these professionals, new interests, and possible college and/or career opportunities.
Mamie Anthoine Ney, Director
Donna Wallace, Teen Librarian
Marty Gagnon, Adult Services Librarian
Auburn Public Library