The Oxford Public Library (OPL) is excited to announce the launch of their "Dual Literacy Program" and would like to invite the public to join in the celebration on Monday, Feb. 18, as Verizon presents the library with a check for $20, 000.The program is a major milestone for the library, and is designed to cross-train Oxford teens on both Apple and PC software, while also educating them on podcasting, animation and bluescreen technology.

"I don't think many people have had the opportunity to learn both," said OPL Director Ken Pienkos. "This grant will allow teens to have access to both operational programs," he said.

In October, Senator Dominic Pileggi presented a check for $5, 000 to the OPL on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which will also be utilized in the program.

Both generous donations will fund the purchase of Apple lap-tops as well as software, which will be used for structural and informal training sessions.

Pienkos said that the goal of the program is to provide young people with a better understanding of how this technology will impact on their future lives, by teaching them a more responsible approach towards social-Interneting.

"We want them to use the internet in a fun, responsible and appropriate way," he said, adding that a library podcast will be implemented as a part of the program.

Currently, teens are already using other forms of media in combination with the internet to express themselves. Websites, like and, allow teens the freedom to post poetry, music and videos for public view.

Pienkos said that he regularly receives criticism from parents, asking the library to censor social-interneting websites such as and

"We never ban anything at the OPL," said Pienkos, "We believe in free speech."

Pienkos stressed the importance of using podcasting and other mediums wisely, as it is becoming more common for employers to perform internet searches on their potential employees before making a final hiring decision.

Aside from wanting to make social-interneting safe for teens, Pienkos also wants to teach students how podcasting can become a useful tool when thinking about college, a career and even global issues.

"We are hoping that our own teens will post on YouTube," he said.

The ceremony will be held at the OPL on Monday, Feb.18 at 2:30 p.m. The OPL Board of Trustees will be joined by Verizon Executives, County Commissioners and library patrons for speeches and photos. The event is free and open to the public and all members of the community, and refreshments will be served.

The Oxford Public Library is located at 48 South Second Street in Oxford. For more information visit or call 610-932-9625.

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