In 2006, the Cybrary the National Association of Counties Achievement Award for a Model County Program. In 2007, their computer classes, run in conjunction with UNC Libraries and other public libraries (Chapel Hill, Orange County, Durham County) won the Innovative Instruction Award from the Association of College & Research Libraries.
August 2004 -
Several years ago when Carrboro Alderman Diana McDuffee toured the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library for a project at the Health Sciences Library, she saw that they had opened a branch library that was mainly computers.
There has always been a need for more library services in Carrboro, and Diana thought this would be a great way to accommodate some of that need in a relatively small space. So, when the Board of Aldermen began the design phase for the Century Center, they started to talk about the possibility of having a "cybrary" in the lower level. Since there wasn't enough space in the Century Center for a full library, they believed this would be a perfect solution. Plans were drawn up to include a cybrary in the future at the Century Center. A room that looks out on Carrboro's Main St. was chosen as the future location.
Barry Jacobs chaired an Orange County Library Taskforce to look at how to get more library services into under-served parts of Orange County. One of the taskforce recommendations was to provide library services in the Century Center. Beginning work on the cybrary seemed like the logical answer.
While the small facility doesn't meet all the library needs, it provides a place for public access to the Internet in downtown Carrboro, giving access to the NC LIVE databases provided to public libraries and a place where you can read the newspaper, get assistance from the "cybrarian" and request books from full service branches. The above photos show the first week the Cybrary was open. A couple of weeks later, when Senator Ellie Kinnaird was a visitor, all of the seats were taken. Word of the Cybrary is starting to spread.
Ellie displays a book that was banned at one time, C. S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, an offering in the current show labeled Read Dangerously: Take Home A Banned Book.
The Cybrary offers computers and help on how to use them, Internet access, and a wide variety of other services including black & white laser printing, a photocopier and fax machine. You are required to sign in to use the computers, and each session is a half hour long. If at the end of the session there is no one waiting to use the computer, you are allowed to stay on longer. There are four Internet workstations loaded with Microsoft Office. They also offer the more traditional library stock of current and recent bestselling fiction and nonfiction, audiobooks on CD and cassette, and a non-traditional paperback exchange collection.
Please call the Cybrary at 919-918-7387 for their current hours.
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