November 4, 2013

Queens Library now offers tablet lending


This past week, Google donated 17,000 Nexus 7 tablet devices to the New York State Community Action Association to mark the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy hitting New York. In turn, the NYSCAA donated 5,000 of those tablets to the Queens Library, who will offer them in the circulation systems in Sandy-affected areas.

Available to library patrons at the Howard Beach, Broad Channel, Arverne, Far Rockaway, Queens Library for Teens in Far Rockaway, Rockaway Beach and Rockaway Park branches, the tablets can be borrowed for a month and can be renewed up to four months.

The tablets are loaded with proprietary software, which is unique to Queens Library:

Preloaded content stresses 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 access e-books and e-magazines for reading offline.

The idea that libraries would lend tablets isn’t necessarily new — academic libraries in particular have lending programs, such as at North Carolina State University, the University of Arizona, and Concordia University. However, a tablet lending program at at a public library with proprietary software is a new development.


Claire Kelley is the Director of Library and Academic Marketing at Melville House.