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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