public librariesAccording to an announcement from NYC City Hall, Google has committed $1 million to support “an innovative library program lending Wi-Fi devices to New Yorkers to use at home.” The New York City Library Hotspot program, offered by the city’s three library systems, the The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Library, seeks  “to offer about 10,000 families Wi-Fi devices powered by Sprint, helping to close the digital divide in New York City.” Knight News Challenge, an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and Robin Hood Foundation, are also supporting the program with an additional $500,000 donation.

As part of the same program, Google is also donating “500 Google Chromebooks, which will be distributed based on need to children and teens enrolled in Library after-school programs.”

“It is simply unfathomable that in the digital world in which we live, one-third of New Yorkers do not have access to broadband internet at home, putting them at a serious disadvantage at school, in applying for jobs, and so much more,” New York Public Library President Tony Marx, said in the announcement. “The Library is proud to partner with Google, as well as with the Robin Hood, Open Society, and Knight Foundations, to help close the digital divide, and set an example for the country.”

“Far too many New Yorkers do not have regular access to the Internet, and as a result find themselves excluded from a wealth of education, employment, and community resources,” said Ben Fried, Google CIO. “This innovative program to loan hotspots to low-income households is a simple, effective way to help those who need broadband and technology the most.  With this donation of $1 million and wifi-enabled Chromebooks, Google hopes to give some of the most underserved in our city a way to bridge the tech divide.”


  1. The announcement this week from NYC City Hall is NEW funding to a program that was first announced several months ago.

    Additionally, the Queens Library (as mentioned in the story) was awarded several Chromebooks.

    Sure would have been good for post to share links to learn more about these innovative programs.

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