City Library Laptop Kits Now Available for Checkout
SALT LAKE CITY—Salt Lake City Public Library cardholders can now take Internet access anywhere they go by checking out a Laptop Discovery Kit.
The kits, which include a Chromebook and mobile Internet hotspot, are one avenue through which The City Library’s Tech League initiative is working to make Salt Lake City a more digitally inclusive community. Since 2016, the Tech League has offered information, workshops, events, and classes to those who lack the access, devices, or skills to connect digitally.
“With so many everyday tasks taking place online—signing up for healthcare, applying for jobs, completing homework, paying bills, connecting with friends and family—having access to Internet service, devices to access it, and skills to use them is essential to participating in modern life,” said Peter Bromberg, Executive Director of the Salt Lake City Public Library. “The City Library recognizes that issues of digital inclusion are a centerpoint for our efforts to help every member of our community be informed and lead an inspired life.”
A study by the Pew Research Centershows that a third of American adults do not have high-speed Internet at home. “Instead,” the study reports, “those with smartphones but not home broadband rely on a kind of ‘workaround ecosystem’ that is a combination of using their mobile devices along with other resources such as computers and Wi-Fi available at public libraries.” (“Smartphones help those without broadband get online, but don’t necessarily bridge the digital divide,” Pew Research Center, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/03/smartphones-help-those-without-broadband-get-online-but-dont-necessarily-bridge-the-digital-divide/)
The City Library will circulate 20 Laptop Discovery Kits—five each at the Main Library and the Chapman, Day-Riverside, and Glendale branches—and each kit can be checked out for up to 21 days with a Library card. Each Laptop Discovery Kit will include a power cord, mouse, and carrying case along with the Chromebook and Internet hotspot. The kits are available to any City Library cardholder, are limited to one per household, and cannot be renewed or placed on hold from the Library’s online catalog. City Library Cards are free to anyone living in Salt Lake County. For more information about the Laptop Discovery Kit, visit your nearest City Library location.
In addition to circulating the Laptop Discover Kits, the Tech League regularly offers digital literacy classes at City Library locations and throughout Salt Lake City. The Tech League partners with organizations including the Glendale-Mountain View Community Learning Center, the Horizonte Instruction and Training Center, the Youth Resource Center, and the Liberty Senior Center.
For those interested in becoming a part of the Library’s Tech League, volunteer positions are open. Tech League volunteers facilitate digital literacy education by providing one-on-one tech assistance to Library patrons. More information about the Tech League and how to become a volunteer is at slcpl.org/techleague.