A World Apart, But Still Connected
Michigan’s breathtakingly beautiful Upper Peninsula is home to the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. Nestled on either side of Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay, the L’Anse Indian Reservation is the largest and oldest in Michigan. This dynamic community has a thriving tourism industry that hosts many outdoor recreation opportunities, historic sites and the Ojibwa Casinos. The community kiosk project that we did for this region began as a compliance need and grew to be a welcomed public service in a number of locations.
The Public Needed Easy Access to Information
With about 3,200 enrolled members, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) is rich in cultural heritage, but it grapples with the same public safety obligations that all towns face. In late 2015, the Keweenaw Bay Tribal Police were looking for the most efficient way to keep residents informed about the area’s registered sex offenders, as required by the U.S. Department of Justice Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). Their online research for an innovative solution led them right to Advanced Kiosks.
KBIC participates in and provides residents with free use of the Tribe and Territory Sex Offender Registry System, which is integrated with the National Sex Offender Public Website. But the Tribal Council was aware that not everyone has online access. How do you ensure all citizens and visitors can easily access constantly changing information?
Chuck Miller, the SORNA coordinator for the Keweenaw Bay Tribal Police, knew all too well how cumbersome and high maintenance bulletin boards and 3-ring binders were. He pursued and was awarded grant funding for self-service kiosks that could democratize access to vital public safety information.
Versatile Kiosk Software Offers More Community Value
The original plan was to supply Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College (KBOCC) with a kiosk because colleges and universities are required to have up-to-date sex offender information on hand at all times. “We decided a computer kiosk was the perfect solution because it provided an access point within the common area of the college where information would always be available, and it could save college administrators all the time and effort of compiling and repackaging our data,” Miller explained.
Once Advanced Kiosks Senior Account Manager Chris Geddis familiarized Miller with our built-in Zamok Kiosk Software Suite, it became apparent that these kiosks could benefit the community far beyond SORNA compliance.
Customizing Kiosks and Support To Get up and Running
The Zamok Homepage Solution makes creating and branding your own kiosk user interface a breeze. But if you need a little assistance or just want some expert advice on layout, our technicians are always happy to get hands-on. For this project, the Advanced Kiosks technical support staff remotely set up and configured each kiosk interface with the desired look and functionality to fit the specific needs of each environment. Extra-mile support is an important element of what we call the Advanced Kiosks Advantage.
Instead of a kiosk just locked down to sex offender registries, KBIC decided to also include buttons allowing users to access the home pages of the college, tribal government, health center, community center and natural resources department. We helped them create that expanded user interface and instead of just one kiosk for the college, they ordered a total of four Freestanding Kiosks, each branded with the color and logo of the facility it is housed in.
The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community now offers public internet access to community resources via kiosks stationed at KBOCC, their Tribal Center, the Niiwin Akeaa Recreation Facility and the Donald A. LaPointe Health & Education Center. Miller is currently working to secure additional grant funding for more kiosks.
A Solid, Public Self-Service Solution
What started out as a creative way to satisfy DOJ requirements is now providing community-wide access to valuable public information and services. Miller has every reason to be proud of his community kiosk installation, but he’s particularly impressed with the durability of our product:
“We have these kiosks in public areas that are not always supervised. We needed a design that was both rugged and attractive, with computer components able to withstand heavy use,” said Miller. “Advanced Kiosks’ Freestanding Kiosks were an ideal solution for our needs.”
Do you have constantly evolving data you need to quickly and easily share with the public? A self-service information kiosk may be the solution you are looking for. To find out how Advanced Kiosks can meet and exceed your needs, contact us via email or give us a call at (866) 783-3791.
Written by Amy Robison, contributing author