November 29, 2020

San Francisco Public Library is Launching Laptop and Mobile Hotspot Lending Program Later This Month

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

As the push for a citywide broadband network grinds forward at City Hall — a goal dating back to former Mayor Gavin Newsom’s tenure — the San Francisco Public Library has fast-tracked a six-month pilot program that would let residents check out laptops and Internet hotspots.

Tech’d Out, a sleekly marketed program beginning in late June, is a $120,000 project modeled after programs at the New York, San Mateo County and Chicago public libraries. Thirty-two electronic bundles — consisting of an HP laptop and mobile hotspot — will be available for check-out at the Main Library and the Oceanview, Bayview and Visitacion Valley branches. The locations were chosen because of their proximity to underserved populations, library officials said.

At the Main Library and its 28 branches, 5,638 people access the Wi-Fi network daily. Patrons logged 306,186 hours at its public computers over the past six months. The service has become a lifeline for some teenagers, who spend hours in coffee shops, branch libraries and parks every day finishing homework and applying for college.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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