Visitors to the Brooklyn Public Library system’s 60 branches can now get more than just books thanks to a $3 million grant secured by local politicians.
The BPL and members of the Brooklyn Delegation of the New York State Assembly, including Chairman Joe Lentol, on Tuesday unveiled new tech gadgets that will be available for free for borough residents.
Each BPL branch will now provide a portable PA system, five iPad Air 2s, a MacBook Pro, a Windows laptop, a flat screen TV and Lego Robotics and Little Bits kits.
“While it is true that nothing will ever replace the value of a good book, we must also make sure that our libraries keep up with the times in our ever-changing technological world,” Lentol said.
“Our librarians will be able to host more technology programs for their patrons, and thousands of Brooklynites will have free use of equipment to which they might not have access at home or in school,” BPL President and CEO Linda E. Johnson added.
To that end, Assemblywoman Latrice Walker said that the her district is a “broadband desert” with many residents using their cellphones to access the internet.
Additionally, through increased funding from the city, the BPL recently added more science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, programming and a tech resource specialist to each branch, who helped chose the new equipment.