Library designates space for public services computer

Annie Blanks | 315-4450 | @DestinLogAnnie | ablanks@thedestinlog.com
Will Rogers, reference and youth services librarian, sits at the new private desk meant specifically for public services assistance. SPECIAL TO THE LOG

The Destin Library is offering a new take on a service it has been providing for years in the hopes will make it easier for those who use library computers to navigate government service websites.

There is now a designated “public services assistance computer” and desk in the library next to the reference desk. The computer is in a more private area of the library, away from the bank of public computers, and is intended to be a discreet place for people to go who want to use the computer to access confidential websites such as myflorida.com or healthcare.gov for services such as Medicare, food stamps or unemployment, according to Reference and Youth Services Librarian Will Rogers.

“We know how people can feel if you’re down on your luck and you have to apply for things that aren’t always comfortable,” Rogers said. “And in many cases navigating a governmental site is sometimes challenging for those without a lot of computer skills.”

Rogers added that he will be available to help those who need to use the computer for those types of services one-on-one. 

“It’s over by the reference desk, where I can sit next to the individual and help walk them through,” Rogers said.

Library Director Jurate Burns said that the new desk is a “reconfiguration” of a service the library has been providing for a long time, and will allow more comfort and privacy to those seeking social service help on the computer.

“It provides social service access to those who can’t make it all the way to Fort Walton Beach to sign up for food stamps of whatever it is that they need,” Burns said. “In the past, Will (Rogers) usually has just stood next to someone to help them. I thought why not put one right next to his desk so he doesn’t have to hover? This lets the person sit near Will, and if they need assistance it allows them to get assistance.”