Public Information and Communication
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 27, 1996
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Mary Jo Ryan,
Diane Gonzoles (402) 471-2244
GOVERNOR NELSON LAUNCHES MICROSOFT LIBRARY PARTNERSHIP
ASHLAND -- Governor Ben Nelson today announced the beginning of a new
partnership with Microsoft Corporation to provide public access to the Internet
in 15 rural Nebraska libraries.
Nelson made the announcement at the Ashland Public Library with Ashland native
Jeff Raikes, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Microsoft, a worldwide
leader in software for personal computers. Ashland is the first site to be
selected for the project in Nebraska.
"Our goal is to have access to the Internet in every public library in Nebraska
by the 21st Century," Nelson said. "We are excited that the state is partnering
with local communities and the Microsoft Corporation to improve access to
information for all Nebraskans, regardless of location, age, background or
financial situation. That access is not a luxury - it's a necessity and a
real key to citizen involvement in government."
"As a native of rural Nebraska, I'm proud that Microsoft's donation will help
15 rural Nebraska libraries offer the resources of personal computer technology
and the Internet to their patrons," said Raikes. "Even with just one PC and an
Internet connection, a library can help a community take advantage of
information and learning resources from all over the world. Microsoft is
delighted to be forging this partnership with the Nebraska Library Commission
and excited to see its positive contribution to Nebraskans now and in the
The Nebraska Library Commission will coordinate the statewide distribution
of funds received from the Microsoft's National Libraries Online! program and
other sources. As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission
mission is statewide promotion, development and coordination of library and
Selection of the other 14 library demonstration sites will be conducted in
cooperation with the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, Nebraska's Regional
Library Systems and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED).
DED's participation includes the Governor's Global Community Initiative Project,
the Nebraska Development Network, and the Nebraska Rural Development Commission.
"We are very pleased that Microsoft has selected the Library Commission to
direct this partnership," said Rod Wagner, NLC Director. "The Libraries Online!
grant will enable the Library Commission to provide computer hardware, software
and technical assistance to the selected libraries."
The project will allow customers at the 15 Nebraska libraries to have multimedia
PCs at their disposal for access to the World Wide Web, word processing, spread
sheets, presentation and graphic design, CD-ROM titles and other software. The
Library Commission will support local library staff in offering training and
education for new computer users. The computers are expected to be available
by March 1997 for public use.
The Microsoft grant will provide cash, software, technical training and support
to Nebraska Libraries with an estimated value of $194,000. Microsoft is
providing $104,000 with matching funds to be identified.
Based on the success of a pilot program begun last year with the American
Library Association (ALA), Microsoft is contributing financial and technical
assistance and software to a total of 41 library systems in the U.S. and Canada.
The ALA found that users in the pilot program included recent immigrants
seeking job opportunities, displaced workers, small business owners, students
The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Home Page. Point your World Wide Web browser to http://nlc.nebraska.gov/.
Nebraska Library Commission
The Atrium, 1200 N Street, Suite 120
Lincoln, NE 68508-2023