One year after it first started the program, Queens Library will now lend Google Nexus tablets at its Flushing branch at 41-17 Main St.
The library has been lending the Google tablets for free from many of its other branches since November 2013. A library member needs to show only their Queens Library card in order to borrow a tablet for a month, with three possible renewals. If it’s the first time the library member is borrowing a tablet, they also have to sign an agreement and provide photo ID.
The Queens Library has installed its custom proprietary software in the Nexus tablets it lends in order to make it easy for members who have no experience in using technology to interface with the device. The tablets also come loaded with educational content, feature content, book lists and offline access to e-books and magazines.
The library began its tablet-lending program after Superstorm Sandy. Google, as part of its efforts to help Sandy-affected areas, donated 17,000 tablets. The Queens Library received 5,000 of those devices and began customizing them to suit their members’ needs.
The initiative won the Queens Library the 2014 Best Practices Award, given by the New York Library Association’s Public Libraries Section every two years to a public library or public library system that uses technology to promote its services.