Boston Public Library announced today the launch of its mobile WiFi hotspot lending initiative, expanding free internet access to patrons beyond its 26 public service locations. Hotspots will be available to borrow at the Central Library and branches throughout the city; if all hotspots are checked out, adult patrons (18+) may place a hold via the online catalog for 21 day loan periods, just like a regular book.
Each WiFi hotspot kit contains a hotspot device, Micro USB cable, adapter, and instructions in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Haitian Creole.
“Boston Public Library is committed to removing barriers to digital access and ensuring internet access and information-seeking opportunities are accessible to all our patrons,” said David Leonard, Boston Public Library President. “The hotspot lending program is a valuable resource that furthers our work and impact in this area. We thank Mayor Martin J. Walsh, our partners at the City of Boston, Verizon and T-Mobile, for their contributions in ensuring all citizens of Boston can more easily participate in the digital and civic life of the city."
“Increasing the availability of high-speed internet, not only in public spaces but throughout the whole City, is a big part of our digital equity strategy,” said Patricia Boyle-McKenna, Interim Chief Information Officer for the City of Boston. “We look forward to seeing the results of this one-year pilot program that will expand connectivity options throughout our neighborhoods and communities."
In April 2016, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced a new partnership with Verizon that includes a state-of-the-art fiber-optic network platform across the city. Verizon included a $100,000 Digital Equity contribution to the city to support a mobile hotspot lending program.
T-Mobile is the provider of hotspot devices, and will provide technical support for the devices, and library staff will be available to assist patrons who need help placing a hold. Additional information for patrons is available on the WiFi FAQ page.
About BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Boston Public Library provides educational, cultural and civic enrichment, free to all, for the residents of Boston, Massachusetts and beyond, through its collections, services, programs, and spaces. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library is a pioneer of public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. As a City of Boston historic cultural institution, Boston Public Library today features a Central Library, twenty-five branches, a map center, business library, archival center; extensive special collections of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and prints; and rich digital content and online services. The award-winning renovation of the Central Library in Copley Square, completed in 2016, together with new, renovated and historic branches, provide a transformed library system for the next generation of users. Boston Public Library enriches lives, hosting thousands of free educational programs and exhibitions, and provides free library services online and in-person to millions of people each year. To learn more, visit bpl.org.