NYC libraries to loan Wi-Fi hot spots to card holders

Besides taking out books, you can now borrow some Wi-Fi at many of the city’s libraries.

The city announced Tuesday the expansion of a pilot program by the New York Public Library over the summer that loans Wi-Fi hot spots to card holders. About 10,000 devices will be available for library users to rent for a few months, depending on their branch, and officials it will be huge step forward in getting poorer New Yorkers online.

“It is simply unfathomable that in the digital world in which we live, one-third of New Yorkers do not have access to broadband Internet at home, putting them at a serious disadvantage at school, in applying for jobs, and so much more,” New York Public Library President Tony Marx said in a statement.

Google and the Knight Foundation provided more than $1 million to pay for the devices. The rules for borrowing the Wi-Fi hot spots differs by library system.

Brooklyn Public Library users can borrow the device for up to a year if they are part adult education or inclusion programs and don’t have broadband Internet access at home.

Queens Public Library users can take out the hot spot for a three-month period and request renewals at select branches such as the central branch in Jamaica, Forest Hills and Far Rockaway. More Queens locations will get the devices in the coming weeks.

The New York Public Library System, which covers Staten Island, Manhattan and the Bronx, will offer wi fi hot spots for card holders for six months.