Lexington, Ky. -- Lexington Mayor Pam Miller helped Verizon SuperPages present a $50,000 grant today to the Lexington Public Library Foundation to launch a new program called ¡Leo!, a Spanish-English e-Branch Library kiosk designed to bridge the information gap for those people in Fayette County who do not have ready access to computers, electronic information, library and city services.
Mayor Miller shared her experiences and personal love of reading as well as the story of Love That Dog by Sharon Creech with 25 fourth- and fifth-grade students from the Shiloh Baptist Church Outreach Program and Operation Read Literacy Program.
"Verizon SuperPages' generosity will help us narrow the digital divide in Lexington and, through ¡Leo!, reach individuals who do not have easy access to or may be unaware of the type of services the library offers," said John Clark, president of the Lexington Public Library Foundation Board of Trustees. "We commend Verizon for its enthusiasm and passion and the active role the company has taken in our community to promote literacy."
"Supporting programs that promote literacy and computer skills is critical to Verizon SuperPages because we believe the ability to read, write and communicate is the foundation for success in life," said Ed Raad, Verizon Information Services Southeast regional vice president - sales. "We are proud to partner with the Lexington Public Library in its efforts to reach underserved members of the Lexington community through this innovative and accessible program."
As the number of residents in Fayette County who are learning English as a second language continues to grow, so too does the need for the services offered by the Lexington Public Library. The ¡Leo! kiosk will bring the library to many residents, both English and Spanish speaking, who will benefit from its services. The bilingual kiosk will be located in the Northside Wal-Mart Super Center and is scheduled to be installed midsummer.
Verizon Information Services supports community outreach programs across the nation designed to increase the literacy of both children and adults and to help people of all ages become computer literate. These programs are part of Verizon's commitment to leading the effort to increase U.S. literacy levels. Recently, Verizon SuperPages.com added two new community and literacy sections to its Web site: Enlighten Me for families and the Internet Learning Tutor for adults. Enlighten Me features SuperThinkers, a children's section featuring games and challenges designed to develop critical thinking skills in a fun setting.
¡Leo! is an Spanish-English e-Branch Library kiosk that will provide immediate library access to users. Located in the Northside Wal-Mart Super Center on New Circle Road, ¡Leo! has the potential to be used by 40,000 weekly shoppers. The bilingual kiosk will provide users with local library information and online catalog, health information, community information, access to the Internet and news services, Spanish and other foreign language newspapers, employment opportunities and information. It will also have links to Verizon's SuperPages.com and SuperPages en Español, along with computer literacy sections Internet Learning Tutor and Enlighten Me.
About the Lexington Public Library
Established in 1795, the Lexington Public Library is the oldest public library west of the Alleghenies. Nearly half of Lexington residents are active library cardholders, and circulation this year is on pace to exceed two million items for the first time in the library's history.
About Verizon Information Services and SuperPages.com
Verizon Information Services is the world's leading print and online directory publisher, a content provider for communications products and services, and the largest publisher of Hispanic directories in the United States. With operations in 16 countries and annual revenues of more than $4.3 billion, Verizon Information Services publishes nearly 1,200 U.S. Verizon SuperPages directories and 400 international directories with a total circulation of approximately 150 million copies worldwide.
Based in the Dallas area, Verizon Information Services produces and markets SuperPages.com, the Internet's number one online directory and shopping resource. SuperPages.com receives as many as 13 million visits and 9 million unique visitors a month and powers directory services on MSN, InfoSpace, AltaVista, Excite, Lycos, Ask Jeeves, HotBot, BigFoot, Tripod and Angelfire as well as more than 2,500 affiliate Web sites.
The company supports computer literacy with philanthropic programs and through the Enlighten Me and Internet Learning Tutor sites on SuperPages.com. Enlighten Me is a fun site where children and their caregivers go to read, learn and explore. The Internet Learning Tutor is specifically designed for adults who are just learning their way around the Internet.
Verizon Information Services is a unit of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Through its signature Verizon Reads program and the Verizon Literacy Network, Verizon is leading the fight to increase U.S. literacy levels by creating community and corporate awareness, raising funds, encouraging collaboration among literacy providers and engaging employees in supporting literacy programs.