Port Sulphur Library Back With New Technology

For the first time since Hurricane Isaac, the Port Sulphur Library opened its doors last week and the small facility is now equipped with some major computing technology.

library“Isaac ripped through here, and took a bunch of the metal off the building, a lot of water got in which led to mold,” explained Library Director Todd Schouest.

But with a little ingenuity, the library staff members were able to salvage many of the books and DVDs at a relatively low-cost: instead of renting expensive climate-controlled storage units, Schouest opted for refrigerated trucks to store the reading materials.

However, the library’s computers weren’t so lucky, and needed to be replaced. Schouest looked at the loss as a chance to enhance the offerings of the facility. While the library was closed for repairs, Schouest and his staff took the opportunity to equip the facility
with new Virtual Computing Technology. Besides the State Library, Plaquemines Parish libraries are the first in the state to have this technology, which allows users to browse the internet and use a variety of computer programs at lightning-fast speed. Instead of bulky computer towers, each station is equipped with N-drives—compact storage devices that sit on the desktop and allow users to operate a variety of programs and functions.

“We are now working on the State Library’s huge server, so the whole system is incredibly fast now,” said Schouest.

For months he has been working with the State Library’s IT department to get N-drives and fiber optic internet hooked up at Plaquemines Library computing stations, and
as a self-proclaimed “tech nerd,” Schouest is thrilled to bring the technology to Port Sulphur residents.

“Through a federal grant and help from AT&T we now have fiber optic internet running from Belle Chasse to Buras, which is faster than the internet I have in my house,” Schouest said excitedly. “And now we have the Port Sulphur computers
tapped into that too.”

A former Jefferson Parish Library director, Schouest came to Plaquemines in 2008 and made it his mission to upgrade the parish libraries’ offerings.

“We used to have people from Plaquemines coming up to Jefferson all the time because they didn’t have a lot of what they were looking for. I really wanted to change that and this is a big step.”

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