Exciting news from the BPL this morning.
Today, Brooklynites will gather at Bedstuy’s Macon Library to receive free MiFi hotspots. The 4G, wireless devices are part of the Library HotSpot Program, which is dedicated to “bridging the digital divide” for patrons without at home internet capabilities.
In a press release today, Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library said: “The internet has changed the way people learn, seek employment and engage with their community.We are proud to offer Brooklynites free internet access not only in our 60 branches, but, with the Library HotSpot program, in their own homes.”
With grants from Google, The Knight News Challenge, and The Robin Hood Foundation, the program intends to put internet in 10,000 households and the BPL will loan around 3,000 of those 10. Twenty-two Brooklyn library branches currently participate, and the BPL has already distributed nearly two-thirds of the MiFi hotspots.
The devices will allow families to connect their desktops, laptops, tablets and up to ten mobile phones to the internet; and Sprint hooks the families up with free, unlimited data for a year.
Users of the BPL without access to internet at home are eligible to borrow devices for one year if enrolled in an adult education or inclusion program offered by the Brooklyn Public Library. Programs include: ESOL, Adult Basic Education or a Citizenship Preparation Class.