OK Connect is a community of doers, movers and shakers who constantly seek to learn and thrive in our fast-paced world. Below are just a handful of Oklahomans who have used OK Connect as a springboard to personal and professional success. Start reading and get inspired.

Photo of Marie Jones
Photo of Marie Jones

Marie Jones

Singer/Song Writer

I love to sing and write songs. I’ve been writing since 2001 and I started singing in church. I want to get CDs published and produce my own music. God gave me this gift to write songs and this song just came to me one night. Everybody who hears it likes it. I needed to copyright the song’s music and lyrics which have to be on CD. Daniel (Ardmore Public Library) helped me register the copyright for the song through the Library of Congress. I have plans to get my songs on the radio.

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Photo of Candace Eischen
Photo of Candace Eischen

Candace Eischen

PTA, Mercy Therapy Services-El Reno

It is such a pleasurable experience and very convenient for me to participate in continuing education opportunities with the El Reno Carnegie Library videoconference team. It is truly a time saver to be able to come to the library for remote attendance at the various medical classes offered through Oklahoma metro area hospitals and rehab companies. Participating in the videoconferences at my library saves me so much time and gas and leaves me available to schedule treatments for my patients. I look forward to more opportunities on a local, regional, and even global level in the future!

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Photo of Dottie Davis
Photo of Dottie Davis

Dottie Davis

Director, Donald W Reynolds Library, Durant

OK Connect was a great opportunity for our library to upgrade our technology. One T1 internet line for eight PCs for the public, and that many more for library staff, made our connection very slow. The broadband internet access of 100 mgb now supports 77 computers for staff and public use. We also have Wi-Fi inside and outside the library. Everyone is happy with the quick response time of our internet. The laptops provide in-house access for people to use computers in our study rooms for tutoring or test taking when they need a computer for longer times. Our library is one of only a handful places in our community to offer teleconferencing capabilities. We regularly host meetings for area emergency management groups who now have the capability to broadcast to Ardmore, McAlester, Tulsa, Shreveport and other locations.

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Photo of Diane Burrough
Photo of Diane Burrough

Diane Burrough

Public Services Assistant, Shawnee Public Library

Teaching computer classes in the lab is great. In the past when we had classes we had to set up and take down multiple laptops. It was always hard to arrange the room so that everyone could see well and the space was cramped. In the new lab all of the students have their own computer with a clear view of the presentation and a distraction-free learning environment. Having the lab so visible in the center of the library also attracts other customers who see the classes going on and want to sign up also.

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Photo of Keisha Gordon
Photo of Keisha Gordon

Keisha Gordon

Director, Anadarko Public Library

I have a couple of examples of how OK Connect helps people in our community. A man came in and asked if he could use our Wi-Fi connection in a quiet area of the library so he could Skype with his daughter who was stationed overseas. He brought his wife and his daughter’s children. He was in a few times after that and brought even more family members to Skype. His internet at home did not allow him to Skype because of how slow the connection was. A young man came in several times to do testing for his college courses. He lives in Anadarko and commutes back and forth to college which is about 45 miles away. He was gracious to be able to come to the library and take his test and not have to make another trip.

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Photo of Lyle G. Russworm
Photo of Lyle G. Russworm

Lyle G. Russworm

Job Seeker

The services that are provided at the Watonga Library greatly impacted my abilities to achieve two goals. One was lifelong dream of completing my degree and secondly to find employment. Having the ability to access library laptop computers to complete my weekly assignment was an added tool that I need to accomplish this dream of completing my degree. Also having computers available for me to use to look for employment provided a great tool I need to find employment. I should also note, the fact that the staff at the Watonga Library is always friendly, polite, professional, cooperative and eager to assist me day in and day out. Thank you very much!

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Photo of Lisa Lempges
Photo of Lisa Lempges

Lisa Lempges

Manager of Info Services, Shawnee Public Library

The Shawnee Public Library has seen a dramatic increase in the use of our public access Wi-Fi since we received our upgraded bandwidth with our participation in the OK Connect program. People tell us all the time they would rather come to the library for Wi-Fi access than any of the other places in town that offer free Wi-Fi because of our speed. I recently helped a couple who were downloading a software update to their laptop. They had originally gone to one of the local fast-food places to do the download while having lunch. The estimated time for downloading the update at the restaurant was nineteen hours. They came to the library where it took less than two hours to complete. They were very happy!

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Photo of Ron Cejka
Photo of Ron Cejka

Ron Cejka

Shawnee, OK

About three years ago I suffered a stroke which left me paralyzed and unable to talk or walk. I have a 4 year college degree, in my past I owned 2 business and I worked in sales for several large companies before my stroke. I am able to do many things now, having recovered much of my strength. I have disabilities in different areas and have really enjoyed the library and the brain games classes. The Intro to Computers and Internet classes were very informative and educational.

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Photo of Terri Crawford
Photo of Terri Crawford

Terri Crawford

Director, Watonga Public Library

At Watonga Public Library we have 8 desk top computers and this is sometimes not enough to fill demand on a daily basis. We check out the OK Connect laptops for use in house when the other computers are full or when customers need a quiet place to work on education or employment related projects. Staff is available to offer one-on-one help as needed. We have had several people complete coursework at the library through the use of the laptop computers and faster Internet. Many local businesses including Sonic, Dollar General, ALCO, Dominos, Pizza Hut, and many oil field related jobs require that potential employees fill out online applications.

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Photo of Ryan O’Reilly
Photo of Ryan O’Reilly

Ryan O’Reilly

IT Department, City of Woodward

Currently at the City we are on a T1 line that runs 1.5 Megabits shared between about 150 users. Sometimes when I need to download something that is time sensitive and a large file size I will head over to the library to utilize the connection there. The last time I had to do this I was downloading Windows Blue (8.1) Developers Preview which was about 3GB in file size. It was going to take me 7 ½ hours to download this over the T1. I was able to download my file in about 17 minutes at the library. Another instance I had to update a user’s iPhone iOS version. It was about a 500 Megabyte download. It was going to take a few hours, I actually started the download over Wi-Fi while walking through the parking lot and it was done by the time I got into Connie’s office. If it’s a large file it is totally worth the effort to load up my laptop and drive over there.

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Photo of Ellen Logan
Photo of Ellen Logan

Ellen Logan

Tai Chi Student

I enjoy Tai Chi. The library projects the Tai Chi class on a big screen and we go through the routine with Kay, the library assistant. I’ve been doing Tai Chi for about 6 months. It’s a good way to end the week. The workout is designed for older adults. Tai Chi is good for your joints and it clears your mind. The slow movements help - I feel better and I have like, 8 Tai Chi buddies.

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Photo of Connie Terry
Photo of Connie Terry

Connie Terry

Director, Woodward Public Library

Director, Woodward Public Library During the summer the Woodward Public Library provided a weekly craft program for kids, 3rd through 6th grade. ALOT of kids turned out – more than we expected. As I was helping, an idea came to mind. I know I like listening to music as I work and I wondered if the kids would enjoy listening to music while they were working on their projects. So, I asked for a raise of hands and every hand went up. Everyone was ecstatic. Each Friday afternoon, while the kids where working on their craft project, we would listen to Pandora’s Kidz Bop Kids. It made me smile to see the kids rocking out in their seats. It was huge success and sooo much fun.

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Photo of Alison Rizzuto
Photo of Alison Rizzuto

Alison Rizzuto

Watonga Public Library

We live right across the street and all four of my kids come to the library daily. They participate in all the activities; have won numerous prizes including a Kindle Fire won by my 2nd daughter, Alyssa, this summer.

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