Urban Community Access Program

Halifax South Community Access Meeting
Computer Science Building, Dalhousie University
June 12, 2000

    In attendance:

  • John Sherwood
    Director of University Computing and Information Services - DAL
  • Craig Kennedy
    Manager, Dalhousie Student Union
  • Rosanne Cousins
    Vice President - Dalhousie Student Union
  • Christopher Wright
    Academic Computing Services - Dalhousie
  • Darlene Beck
    HR Library - Spring Garden Rd Branch
  • Randy Barkhouse
    Director of Academic Computing Services - Dalhousie
  • Bill Maes
    Dalhousie Libraries
  • Bernie Hart
    Technology & Science Secretariat (TSS)
  • Leo Deveau
    Chebucto Community Net (CCN)
  • David Murdoch
    Coordinator, Halifax Regional CAP
  • Joanne Fraser
    Consultant CCN and TSS

    Invited but unable to attend:

  • Jacob Slonim
    Director of Faculty of Computer Science - Dalhousie
  • Carolyn Watters
    Faculty of Computer Science - Dalhousie
  • William Lord
    Director of Facilities Management - Dalhousie
  • Bertrum MacDonald
    School of Library and Information Studies - Dalhousie
  • Madeleine Lefebvre, Peter Webster, Doug Vaisey
    Saint Mary's University Librarians
  • Davena Davis
    Atlantic School of Theology

    Meeting Summary:

  1. Community Access Program - Overview

             Bernie Hart gave a PowerPoint presentation on the Community Access Program. Key points are:

    • is a joint program of Industry Canada and the province (Technology & Science Secretariat)
    • up to $20,000 available per site
    • since 1996 140 sites established with 224 as the target

             He also described who the program targets, what a site looks like, requirements for site establishment and what the steering committee must include. Bernie reviewed the present distribution of CAP sites and described how in the urban part of HRM a neighbourhood cluster model is being used. A total of 13 clusters have been identified. What is common to each cluster is that they have a library branch and a junior or senior high school. The Sackville cluster consisting of Sackville High, a health centre, seniors group in the mall and the library has just been approved for funding. Other early starters in the Urban CAP program include the North Branch Memorial Library which was part of an urban pilot program, Veith House and the Dartmouth North cluster.

             Strategies which are being explored and discussed in this program include:

    • The home/schoool connection - (Greystone and Rocking Heights)
    • Loaning computers from a site (Salvation Army)
    • Data projector ( North End Community Health Clinic)
    • Home visitation (Veith House/HRDC)

  2. Chebucto Community Net's Role

             Leo Deveau, Executive Director of the Chebucto Community Net (CCN) distributed a brochure and gave a brief history of CCN's mandate. They have 3,000 members and host websites for 200 community groups.

             He talked about discussions/ideas that had been raised around the Cyber Café (in Computer Science Building - Dalhousie). It is a public space although it obviously serves a mostly student clientele. He suggested a number of questions for consideration. Could having a CAP site there increase the public/community interface? How could it be linked to other sites in the South End such as Spencer House and Phoenix House (both have applications for CAP funding "in the works") ? How can we leverage skills and strengths of the Dalhousie computer community for the CAP program?

  3. South End Community Needs

             Discussion then followed the topic of what are the needs of Halifax South community that are not currently being met? The following were identified:

    • Family/friends visiting those in the hospitals (ie: MacDonald House, South Park Lodge)
    • Street people
    • Mission to Seamen
    • Killiam library's informal policy to help the public and how can we do it?
    • The OT/physio department at Dalhouse - could there be a link to sites in the area of assistive technology?
    • SMU?
    • AST?

             It was recognized that the Spring Garden library just got 4 new computers under the "Gate's Funding" and have no further capacity in terms of space. It seems that the student population at Dalhousie has options for access that are generally meeting demand on campus. These include the libraries, SUB stations, residences set up for access. A survey done over a year ago revealed that 90% of students also had access to non-Dalhousie computers.

             It was suggested that location is critical. For instance the Dalhousie Library is set up to be primarily responsible to the student population and secondarily to a public outside that but how to do it for an outside population is not clear.

  4. Student Linkages

             Is there an opportunity for computer student internships or practical experience at CAP sites that can be a part of their studies? How can we link those that know how to use information technology with those who don't? As volunteerism is encouraged among the student population could something be done there to link student volunteers with CAP sites. Currently the Volunteer Resource Centre does get some university student volunteers and there is a Student Volunteer Bureau at the SUB.

  5. Advisory Committee

             There is currently a Metro CAP Advisory Committee with primarily sectoral representation. It was suggested that we should likely have a university representative on that committee. There are three key task areas that have been identified and sub- committees are currently being established to carry forward this work. They are: Application Review Sub-Committee, Site Distribution Sub-Committee and a Community Information Design Sub-committee.

  6. Funding Timeline

             Funding for sites is available till March 2001. There are additional support funds of approximately $5,000 per year for an additional 2 years after site establishment. Application Funding Reviews will take place in June, August and October, 2000.

  7. Next Steps

             This meeting was to share information and encourage further thinking about what opportunities there are for participating in this program. More people need to be brought into the information loop.

             Leo stated that CCN would take the lead in linking with some of the groups identified. These include the hospitals, Spencer House, Phoenix House, YMCA/YWCA, Seamen's Mission, Dalhousie OT/physio linkages. Further consideration will need to be given to need/appropriateness of a site at the Cyber Café.

             Once contact has been made and discussions have taken place with others another meeting will be called. The ideal situation would be if a Halifax South group could be established in order to develop and submit an application for the August Application Review.


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