Sandy-Hit Libraries Get Google Tablets

Hugo Barra, Vice President, Android Product Management at Google, holds up a new Asus Nexus 7 tablet at Dogpatch Studios in San Francisco on July 24, 2013. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Hugo Barra, Vice President, Android Product Management at Google, holds up a new Asus Nexus 7 tablet at Dogpatch Studios in San Francisco on July 24, 2013. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

NEW YORK—Public libraries in Brooklyn and Queens are to get thousands of Google’s Nexus 7 tablets and will be lending them to their patrons for free. The Coney Island Public Library already has 50 tablets available.

To mark the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Google donated 17,000 tablets to New York libraries, senior centers, businesses, and community centers affected by the storm.

“Our hope is this donation will help these neighborhoods not only get back to the status quo but go beyond it,” William Floyd, head of External Affairs for Google, stated in a press release.

The tablets were originally donated to the New York State Community Action Association (NYSCAA), a not-for-profit that provides services and advocacy to people in New York. NYSCAA now cooperates with the state of New York on distribution of the tablets to the storm-affected areas.

Besides the Coney Island library, branches in Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Gerritsen Beach, Red Hook, and Sheepshead Bay should get 50 tablets each in November and December.

“These communities were some of the worst hit by Hurricane Sandy,” said Linda E. Johnson, president and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “So now, one year after the storm, we are thrilled to be able to offer this wonderful new resource to our patrons.”

Libraries in Brooklyn should receive 1,000 tablets in total. Neither the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) nor the NYSCAA provided details about when they will be distributed.

Another 5,000 tablets will be distributed to public libraries in Queens. Howard Beach, Broad Channel, Arverne, Far Rockaway, Queens Library for Teens in Far Rockaway, Rockaway Beach and Rockaway Park are to start lending tablets on Nov. 20, according to a Nov. 1 article on the Library Journal website.

New York Public Library (NYPL) received 200 tablets in September. Most of them are being used for the NYPL after-school program.

In Queens, the lending period for the tablet will be one month with up to three extensions for a maximum of four months. In Brooklyn, the limit is 14 days with up to three extensions.

To borrow the tablet at BPL, you must have a state I.D. and a valid library card with less than $15 unpaid fines. Those younger than 14 can borrow tablets with a parent or legal guardian.

Tablets must be returned to the same branch where there were borrowed. If a person loses, breaks, or returns the tablet over 14 days overdue, the fine is up to $272.

The apps loaded in the tablets include BPL’s mobile application, Google Play & Magazine, Goodreads, Brooklyn Museum Mobile, Pandora, Google Play Music, 50 Languages, ebrary, Ebsco Host, Smithsonian, Free English Dictionary and more. Users can install any additional apps they wish to use. All user data and apps will be erased after the tablet is returned.

According to Jason Carey, director of marketing and communications at the BPL, the donated tablets are 2012 models of Nexus 7 with 8GB memory, Wifi, and no mobile data plan.

More in NY News, Superstorm Sandy


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