Queens Library in New York will start offering tablet devices for free to its members from next week, or Nov 20 to be precise. The generosity can be attributed to Google donating 17,000 of its new Nexus 7 devices to the New York State Community Action Association to commemorate one year of Hurricane Sandy hitting New York and adjoining areas. Of these, Queens Library will be getting 5,000 units of the Nexus tablets. Valid card holders of the library will be able to retain the tablet for a month and can be renewed thrice at the most. What this means is that each member will be able to keep the tablet to themselves for four months at a stretch.
The tablets on offer from Queens Library have proprietary software running on top which is based on icons. Further, each of the Wi-Fi capable devices being lent out by Queens Library will come pre-loaded with educational content, job searching resources, information on immigration and citizenship, information about health, and so on. The tablets also come loaded with curated content, which means users have access to lots of information irrespective of them being online or offline. Also, Queens’s move to lent out tablets running its proprietary software is perhaps a first among public libraries in the US.
The other locations in Queens that will be lending the Nexus tablet devices include Howard Beach, Broad Channel, Arverne, Far Rockaway, Queens Library for Teens in Far Rockaway, Rockaway Beach and Rockaway Park.
“Google is excited by the Queens Library innovative use of technology to engage their community and patrons,” said William Floyd, Head of External Affairs for Google. “With this tablet donation, we hope that the residents of this borough will have access to the information and resources they need to strengthen their communities.”
“Public libraries are all about lifelong learning. The tablets provided by Google, coupled with innovative work by Queens Library, puts information and educational resources into the hands of Queens residents. It is a first step toward our strategic goal of bridging the information divide through digital resources, coupled with educational partners. We expect to advance adult learning, language learning, student resources, and more.”