While at Internet Librarian, I learned about the Maintain IT Project. This three-year Bill and Melinda Gates funded initiative is designed to identify best practices for maintaining public access computers. Right now, they are collecting stories from library folks about working with public access computers and keeping them running. From these stories of success and dealing with adversity they will develop sustainable best practices to benefit all libraries struggling to maintain their computers for the public. And the best part is that they will be sharing these best practice guides (different ones for different library types) for free through WebJunction and other avenues.
If you have experiences dealing with public access computers — maintaining them, kicking them, etc. — please do consider sharing your story on their Web site. In this phase of their project, they are really pushing to get stories from folks in rural libraries, but no matter what type of library you’re in, please do share. Your experiences could be so much more valuable to others than you may realize.