Chicago Public Library Increases Internet Access Through its Innovative "Hotspot at Home" Program; lending service will include laptops and digital skills training.
Via its network of 80 branches, Chicago Public Library (CPL) is the city's largest provider of free Internet access. CPL supports digital literacy and skill development by providing in-library experts, CyberNavigators, who help Chicagoans through 98,000 Internet basics sessions per year, focusing on tasks like creating an email account or completing job applications or finding credible health information. Recent studies have shown that, although outreach and training are partially effective in improving Internet use in low-income communities, the lack of access in the home remains a significant barrier. CPL proposes to attack this problem by providing FREE LOANED HOTSPOTS, along with loaned laptops, and enhanced, targeted skills training.