REDWOOD CITY, Calif.-- In an effort to build upon existing programs offered by the Redwood City Public Library that seek to bridge the digital divide in the community, the Downtown Library and the Fair Oaks Branch Library recently began offering Wi-Fi hotspots for checkout.
Funded by Redwood City Public Library partners including the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Bothin Foundation, Equinix and the Redwood City Library Foundation, 80 devices are offered between the Downtown Library and the Fair Oaks Branch Library. One hotspot per family connects up to 15 devices and can be checked out with a Peninsula Library System card. The Wi-Fi hotspots checkout for three weeks at a time.
The Redwood City Public Library offers a number of programs to connect the community to the internet and learn to use a computer. TheFair Oaks Branch Library offers iPads for checkout for home use. The iPads come pre-loaded educational apps recommended by the Redwood City School District for students in pre-school through second grade.Community members can use their library card to checkout the iPads at no charge. The iPads are fully functional and no internet access is required.Devices checkout for three weeks.
For community members needing computer help or access to a computer, all branches feature computers that offer access to the internet, online databases and library resources, the library catalog, and Microsoft Office. All Redwood City Libraries also offer free wireless internet access for people who prefer to use their own devices. Those needing help with eBooks or have technology questions can bring their own devices and drop by the Small Meeting Room at the Downtown Library, where instructors are on hand to assist with technology questions, Wednesdays 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. A reservation is not required. Additionally, appointments can be made with technology volunteers for further assistance. Other digital events and programs that seek to help bridge the digital divide include Sunday Coding Club for Kids, Project READ's Tinker Lab, and virtual reality programming in the Teen Center.