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Visit Central Library for live auction, low-cost computer items

LAPLACE — More than 730 people rely on the St. John the Baptist Parish Central Library in LaPlace for computer services on a weekly basis.

According to Administrative Services Coordinator Kearston Poché, many come in to complete job applications, build resumes or work on college homework.

Poché said others are drawn to the LaPlace branch for free technology classes offered at 2 p.m. every Wednesday.

Recognizing the financial barrier to technology within the community, Central Library staff members are hosting a live auction of surplus computer items including all-in-one PCs, monitors, laptops, printers and handheld devices.

The auction begins at 9 a.m. Friday at the library, located 2920 U.S. 51 in LaPlace, and participants must be present to win.

When faced with the choice to dispose of older machines after technology upgrades or hold an auction, IT assistant Purnell Brewer Jr. said staffers made a decision benefitting the library and the community.

“We have a lot of patrons that come here that need a computer,” Brewer said. “They are the less fortunate, and they come here to use computers. This gives them an opportunity to get one.”

Auction items include 40 all-in-one HP and Lenovo desktops, six Compaq desktops, seven Toshiba Satellite laptops, 10 Lenovo Thinkpad laptops, nine HP printers and 10 19-inch LCD monitors of various brands.

Hard drive disks were removed from an additional 14 inoperable Lenovo Thinkcentre M90Z all-in-one computers, items Brewer said will be sold for parts.

All items can be viewed in advance from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday in the Central Library meeting rooms.

PCs and laptops will have a starting bid of $10. Inoperable machines will be auctioned off for computer parts, starting at $5.

IT manager Edward Simms said the library purchased most of the items in 2012 and 2013, and he does not anticipate bidding prices on PCs climbing higher than $60.

According to Simms, the only requirements are that participants live in St. John the Baptist Parish and have a library card.

Library cards can be obtained the day of the auction with a valid ID and proof of residence.

“The process goes like this,” Simms said. “Guests bid on the item. If they win, their name and number will be placed on a tag. Then they pay with cash or check and get a receipt to pick it up.”

Proceeds from the live auction will go into the general library fund to be used for community activities, Poché said.

Those who win items are welcome to return to the library for help operating the machinery, she said, noting the Wednesday computer classes are a great place to start.

“A lot of people who come to the computer classes are in need of those computers at home for additional practice,” Poché said.

Fore more information, call 985-652-6857 ext. 2401 or 2402.