Have a New York Public Library card? Then congratulations, you are now free to Internet. Thanks to a $500,000 grant (that’s a lot of late fees) the NYPL will soon be lending out broadband in an effort to help members who can’t afford wireless keep up with the digital age.
The initiative was funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and will allow any member of the library system to “borrow” Internet for free from their own home. The Library currently offers on-site computer and Internet access for card-holders, but only in 45-minute increments–a small window of time for the 55% of members The Daily Dot says use library resources because they can’t afford Internet at home.
NYPL President Tony Marx says surfing the web is a necessity, not a luxury, for New Yorkers:
In a world where access to the Internet is necessary for almost any important task – applying for jobs, doing school work, paying bills – it is unacceptable that so many of the most vulnerable New Yorkers would be left behind.
A Broadband Progress Report from 2012 showed that 62% of Americans pay on average $55 a month for Internet access. As companies like Comcast and Time Warner continue to monopolize the market, initiatives like the NYPL’s are a necessary reminder that in an age of Internet ubiquity, the opportunities provided by online access are still unavailable to many Americans.
(image via Sam Howzit on Flickr)
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