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  • Hawaii's Public Libraries Launch Microsoft IT Academy

For Immediate Release
November 10, 2011

Hawaii's Public Libraries Launch Microsoft IT Academy Public-private partnership provides the world's first Microsoft IT Academy program available in a statewide public library system.

The Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS), in partnership with the Microsoft Corporation, announced that HSPLS has become the first public library system in the world to provide Digital Literacy and Microsoft IT Academy Programs for technology training and preparation for certifications for all Hawaii's library patrons. The Microsoft IT Academy program is the first training program to launch under the HSPLS HI Tech Academy initiative and is expected to reach nearly one million people across the state of Hawaii.

Craig Mundie, Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer; Donald Horner, Chairman of the Hawaii State Board of Education; and Richard Burns, Hawaii State Librarian, announced the kickoff of the HSPLS-Microsoft IT Academy in a news conference today at the Hawaii State Library.

"The Microsoft IT Academy program includes training and certification in Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint, in addition to advanced subjects such as programming, Web development and database development," said Craig Mundie, Microsoft Chief Officer for Research and Strategy. "The program's digital literacy resources will equip Hawaii's library patrons with the technical skills needed to become more employable and successful in the 21st century workplace."

The Microsoft IT Academy provides access to e-learning, certification preparation, and official Microsoft course materials, which will help users to qualify for and acquire industry-recognized Microsoft Office Specialist, Microsoft Technology Associate or Microsoft Certified Professional certifications. Funding for the Microsoft IT Academy is provided by the Federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), which is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The launch of the Microsoft IT Academy marks the first time the subscription-based program will be made available to Hawaii's library users through in-library and remote access via Windows Internet Explorer. In Hawaii, hundreds of thousands of library cardholders will have free, unlimited access to over 350 Microsoft courses, ranging from basic computer skills to advanced network architecture and design. The Microsoft IT Academy will provide many of the vocational and adult education resources that have been reduced in Hawaii as a result of budget cuts.

"IT certifications are increasingly recognized as valuable credentials that give young people expanded career opportunities," said Donald Horner, Chairman of the Hawaii State Board of Education. "The Microsoft IT Academy ensures patrons equal access to IT training and certification through all libraries across the state regardless of location or economic status."

The Microsoft IT Academy will expand educational workforce development and lifelong-learning opportunities for all the people of Hawaii. The program will also help students, as library patrons, become college and career ready upon graduation from high school, and will improve their abilities to compete in the rapidly evolving modern workplace.

"With the unveiling of the Microsoft IT Academy, we are excited that all our patrons - from keiki to kupuna - will be able to access technology training that has the potential to affect transformational change in Hawaii's education and workforce landscape, and is closely aligned with Governor Abercrombie's New Day Plan, Broadband Initiatives and his emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math education," said Hawaii State Librarian Richard Burns. "We enthusiastically encourage all our patrons to take full advantage of the Microsoft IT Academy - it will truly benefit everyone who participates."

Access to the Microsoft IT Academy will be available through the HSPLS website: Library patrons with valid library cards can access the courses of their choice by following simple instructions. The courses are accessible at any time in all public libraries, remotely and via mobile devices with authentication. The courses are self-paced, several sessions in length, and patrons can stop and resume their coursework at their convenience.

Patrons who decide to pursue Microsoft Office Specialist, Microsoft Technology Associate or Microsoft Certified Professional Certifications will have the opportunity to take an exam at an official Microsoft certification site. To access the Microsoft IT Academy, a list of the certification sites, and course curriculum, please visit the library system's website at

About Microsoft Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

About HSPLS The Hawaii State Public Library System is the nation's only statewide public library system, comprised of 50 branches located on six islands. Its mission is to provide Hawaii's residents, in all walks of life, and at each stage of their lives, with access to education, information, programs and services, and to teach and nurture the love of reading and the habit of life-long learning.

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Photo Captions 1. Hawaii State Librarian Richard Burns (at podium) delivers welcoming remarks at a news conference to launch the HSPLS-Microsoft IT Academy at the Hawaii State Library. Photo courtesy of HSPLS 2. HSPLS-Microsoft IT Academy news conference VIP group photo: (seated from left) Microsoft's Kristin Rhodes and Craig Mundie; Hawaii State Board of Education Chairman Donald Horner, David Pritchard of Microsoft; (standing from left) Scott Kennedy of Microsoft, Bruce Coppa, representing Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie; Sonny Bhagowalia, Hawaii Chief Information Officer; Aaron Tanaka of Honolulu Community College; Thomas Pollard of IBM; and Hawaii State Librarian Richard Burns. Photo courtesy of HSPLS

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