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i-Brary users celebrate grand opening in Grand Forks

Dan Bussian, Learning Center coordinator, right, assists Ken Dominguez at the Red Pine I-Brary during Tuesday's open house. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald1 / 2
Heather Lenoir likes that the Red Pine I-Brary is a safe place for her children, Mckenna, left, and Micaelyn to use a computer when visiting their cousin who lives in the area. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald2 / 2

While the new Red Pine i-Brary in Grand Forks looks simple — a small square room with some computers — visitors Tuesday said they loved it.

“I look up a lot of stuff every day here,” said Ken Dominguez, 76, of Grand Forks, as he turned on a computer during the i-Brary’s grand opening Tuesday.

Although the i-Brary, a free public computer and Wi-Fi facility on 14th Avenue South, has been open for about two months, it had already garnered many regular users, such as Dominguez, before its official grand opening Tuesday afternoon.

The facility is run by the Grand Forks Housing Authority and was funded by the Ryan Family Foundation, of Grand Forks, and the Knight Foundation.

In partnership with the Global Friends Coalition and the Grand Forks Public School District, the i-Brary offers classes on English and computers, said Emily Wright, executive administrator at GFHA.

Most of the i-Brary’s users have been either GFHA clients or new Americans so far, Wright said, but GFHA hopes to offer more classes at the center in the future to serve even more people.

Heather Lenoir, of Grand Forks, visited the i-Brary for the first time during the grand opening Thursday, and described it as “cozy.”

She was there with her three pre-teen and teenage children, and their cousin, who lives within walking distance of the i-Brary.

“When they (her children) visit their cousin, I know that they’ll have somewhere safe that they can come and use the technology,” Lenoir said. “It’ll be a good learning tool for kids to come and use.”

Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
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