Boston Public Library program lends Chromebooks and Wi-Fi routers to patrons

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) – In addition to removing literature from the Boston Public Library, customers can now request to loan Chromebooks and LTE-enabled Wi-Fi routers through the library’s long-term device loan program, announced Monday city ​​officials.

According to a BPL statement, the program is open to all adult Boston residents who “do not otherwise have access to sufficient facilities or services to meet their educational needs.” At program launch, 3,200 Chromebooks and 3,000 routers became available, with additional funding requested for an additional 3,000 Chromebooks to distribute to eligible residents.

BPL’s long-term device loan program is funded by the Emergency Connectivity Fund and is a partnership between the library, the Mayor’s Office, the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and Boston Housing Authority.

“The internet is an essential lifeline for Bostonians, but financially inaccessible to many. These LTE-enabled Wi-Fi routers and Chromebooks offer the potential to empower Bostonians with educational opportunities, community connection, and digital equity across the city,” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu.

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City officials say the program will cover the cost of internet service for participants through the end of June 2023, with a possible extension through the end of the year if the ECF approves funding.

The first-come, first-served program allows participants to borrow the devices for as long as they need, with federal funding dictating that web filters be applied to computers. Officials say that these filters are managed by a third party, which will determine whether the sites are suitable for minors or not, in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act.

Applicants or interested parties can learn more about the Long-Term Device Loan Program here.

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