Microsoft Announces More than $1 Million Donation to Bring the Internet and Multimedia Software to Chicago Public Library

Chicago, Ill., March 19, 1996 — Speaking to high school students, library patrons and city officials in Chicago, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates today announced his company will donate more than $1 million in software to the Chicago Public Library, bringing the Internet and multimedia software to neighborhoods across the city. Microsoft will provide the Chicago Public Library with high-speed telecommunications service and networking software that brings the Internet to library patrons for the first time. Microsoft also will provide multimedia reference and educational software to all 81 Chicago branch libraries, as well as assistance with computer training and technical support.

Gates’ announcement was part of a major speech today on the many ways in which he sees the PC empowering individuals, businesses, schools and organizations to do great things. To underscore his vision, Gates told the stories of several Chicagoans who exemplify the millions of people worldwide whose lives have been improved and empowered in some way because of the PC. * Amy Bennett, a teacher at Murphy and Canty Elementary Schools on the Northwest side of Chicago, works with children who have come to the U.S. from war-torn regions of the world. Their experiences have made it difficult for them to settle into life in America and to communicate about their hopes, dreams and worries. Aljosa Campara and Daniela Kuljanin, two 13-year-old 7th graders from Bosnia, were intimidated by their new surroundings until they were given an opportunity to express their feelings to family and friends using a PC. Mrs. Bennett led a project that enabled them to talk about their experiences with bombings and refugee camps by sitting down at a computer and building a family album.

* John Rico was born in Chicago’s Cabrini community, attended Chicago Public Schools and founded Rico Enterprises, Inc. 11 years ago. Rico was the first Hispanic-owned PC company in the Chicago area, and today employs 16 workers. The company has built its niche in manufacturing PCs and developing software for the education market.
“Our business is to train the trainer – the classroom teacher – on what they need for instructing their students.”
Rico says the PC has created opportunities for him and his family. His small business has received acclaim from the Urban Affairs Division of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Family Business of the Year program.

* Angelee Johns, a director at the Chicago Metro History Education Center, has one goal: to spark interest in history and education by teaching kids about their own local history. She believes the PC can make that possible. The Center is creating interactive multimedia software to tell Chicago’s story. The Center also is making it possible through the Internet for teachers to share ideas, thoughts and plans for conveying a passion for history.

“It’s been remarkable for me over the past 20 years to see and to hear these stories of how the PC is empowering people, businesses and organizations to do great things,”
said Gates.
“I’m very optimistic about the future of the PC and the Information Superhighway, and I believe libraries can be a great place to access this new world of online information and communication. Today’s announcement of support for the Chicago Public Library is part of our overall vision of creating a connected learning community in which parents, teachers, students and the community collaborate on life-long learning.”

“It is with great pleasure that the Chicago Public Library accepts this gift of technology and access to information made possible by the generosity of Bill Gates and Microsoft,”
said Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary A. Dempsey.
“Through its work with the American Library Association and public libraries nationwide, Microsoft has demonstrated its commitment to providing access to technology and information resources to millions of public library users. Microsoft’s grant to the Chicago Public Library will enable us to make information technology, including the Internet, a reality for our millions of library users. We applaud and thank Microsoft for its ongoing commitment to America’s public libraries.”

The Chicago Public Library recently launched Project MIND (Meeting Information Needs Democratically), an effort to integrate information technologies into the library system’s offerings. Toward that end, Microsoft is donating Windows NT( server and client software, Microsoft( BackOffice( server and client, Windows( 95, Microsoft Office 95, Visual Basic(, T1 telecommunications access and a variety of CD-ROM titles, including Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus( series, Microsoft Bookshelf(1996-97, Microsoft Dinosaurs, Microsoft Ancient Lands, Microsoft Musical Instruments, How the Leopard Got His Spots, Microsoft Dangerous Creatures, Microsoft Oceans, Microsoft Explorapedia( Series, Microsoft Encarta(’96, Microsoft Encarta World Atlas, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Works, Microsoft Dogs, Microsoft 3-D Movie Maker, Microsoft Music Central( ’96 and Microsoft Art Gallery.

As part of its overall commitment to creating a connected, lifelong learning community, Microsoft and the American Library Association (ALA) announced last November
“Libraries Online,”
a one-year, $3 million initiative to research and develop innovative approaches for bringing the Internet and information technologies to under-served populations across the country.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, BackOffice, Bookshelf, Encarta, Explorapedia, Music Central, Visual Basic, Windows and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Scholastic and The Magic School Bus are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Scholastic, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.

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