Queens residents have a new way to connect on the go, and all they need is a library card.
Mobile hot spots are currently available for loan at select Queens Library locations. The devices, which are smaller than most cell phones, provide Internet access to any Wi-Fi-enabled device, such as a computer, tablet or smartphone, in almost any location.
First-time users will just need to show a photo ID and fill out an agreement to borrow the device. They are available on loan for one month at a time and can be renewed up to three times.
Library card holders can pick up the hot spots at branch locations at 89-11 Merrick Blvd., Jamaica; 1637 Central Ave., Far Rockaway; and 108-19 71st Ave., Forest Hills. They also will be available at Queens Library in Flushing, at 41-17 Main St., on Dec. 5, and at the Jackson Heights branch, at 35-51 81st St., on Dec. 12.
The library locations lending the devices are also lending free Google tablets. Google’s $1 million donation, along with a $500,000 grant from the Knight News Challenge, an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and Robin Hood Foundation, made the hot spot program possible, according to the library.
“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’s chief information officer. “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 W-Fi-enabled Chromebooks, Google hopes to give some of the most underserved in our city a way to bridge the tech divide.”