2013-11-22 / Community

Google Tablets Come To Library

Rockaway area libraries have started loaning out 5,000 Google tablets to cardholders. Rockaway area libraries have started loaning out 5,000 Google tablets to cardholders. The Queens Library is ready to let technology users borrow Google Nexus tablets at Broad Channel, Arverne, Far Rockaway, and Queens Library for Teens in Far Rockaway, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park and Howard Beach.

On Wednesday, November 20th, they began lending library customers Google tablets on their library cards. The tablets are part of a donation of 17,000 tablets, intended to assist Sandyaffected areas, by Google to the New York State Community Action Association through the efforts of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Department of State. The Queens Library has received 5,000 donated units so far.

Customers may borrow them for a month with the option of three renewals for a total of four months. They are programmed with a proprietary software interface. Queens is the first library to do this.

The interface is icon-driven, so even users who have not had previous experience with this technology will be encouraged to explore and learn more.

The tablets are pre-loaded with curated content so there is plenty of information available whether the customer is online or not. The preloaded content concentrates on educational information, health resources, resources for job readiness and searching, resources for computer skills training, resources for literacy and learning, resources for citizenship and immigration, original feature content, age-appropriate book lists and information about library programs and locations.

The tablets can also access e-books and e-magazines for reading offline. Content will be refreshed and updated every time a user comes into a Queens Library or is within Wi-Fi range. Customers who have access to wireless internet at the library or in other locations will have the full internet experience, as well.

"It has been almost a year since New York went through the worst natural disaster in our history but for many of our state's residents who are still building back the generosity of companies like Google can make a huge difference," Governor Cuomo said. "Private donations like these are critical in aiding local communities in our ongoing recovery. We thank Google for helping New York build back better than before."

"Public libraries are all about lifelong learning. It is a first step toward our strategic goal of bridging the information divide through digital resources, coupled with educational partners. We expect to advance adult learning, language learning, student resources and more,” said Thomas Galante, President and CEO of the Queens Library.

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