Submitted by countylibrary on

We are thrilled to announce that a $45,103 grant awarded to BCLS last year is being used to launch an all-new, library device lending program. Thanks to the new funding, you can now borrow tablet kits (with wireless mice and keyboards) and free mobile WiFi for three weeks at a time, with the option to renew if no one else is waiting for a device.

The library’s grant application was one of only 68 out of more than 1,700 submitted last year that was selected to share $13.8 million in FY2020 CARES Act Grants for Museum and Libraries funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The library’s new lending program will allow folks who don’t have internet access at home to go online without having to find a public network or use a cellular data plan. A limited number of kits will be available initially, with plans to expand the program in the works.

The tablets come loaded with essential apps for video conferencing, online school, and job hunting, Microsoft Office and Google Drive, as well as many of the library’s fantastic resources like Udemy, Rosetta Stone, and, of course, all our ebooks and downloadable audiobooks. You can borrow a tablet kit or free mobile WiFi by visiting the circulation desk at the Burlington County Library in Westampton as well as branch locations in Bordentown, Cinnaminson, Evesham, Maple Shade and Pemberton. Customers must be 18 or older to borrow out a device.

Over the past year, we’ve all learned how important it is to be able to connect digitally. Whether it’s been holiday dinners over Zoom, virtual “vacations” through online tours, or even renewing a vehicle registration online, we’ve had to discover new and creative ways to come together and go about our lives through technology.  But that makes it all the more important to seize this opportunity to build bridges and bring that potential for connection to everyone. No member of our community should be left behind, but it is all too easy for that to happen, especially now with the incredibly fast pace that things are moving online following a year of social distancing. That’s why BCLS is committed to helping our community bridge those gaps and reap the benefits of technology together.  Our device lending program is the latest step in this ongoing effort, and we are so excited to share it with you!