Skye Patrick, L.A. County Library Director (Courtesy photo)

 Program funded by the American Rescue Plan provides free hotspots

As part of L.A. County’s ongoing investment to combat the digital divide with free access to technology, L.A. County Library will launch Connect & Go on Friday, March 1, at all L.A. County Library locations. Customers will be able to connect with the internet wherever they are, at no cost. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) funded program will provide 1,300 hotspots that users can borrow for six weeks with an option to renew up to three times, subject to availability.

“We are excited to launch the Connect & Go program as part of our commitment to provide resources that support personal development and growth, and to erase barriers and unlock opportunity,” said L.A.  County Library Director Skye Patrick. “L.A. County Library continually works toward reducing the digital divide, playing an important role in upholding the public’s right to access information and services.”

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L.A.  County Library offers several ARP-funded programs designed to offer access to information and communications technology for those who don’t otherwise have the resources to connect, all available for free:

  • Laptop & Hotspot Loans –Chromebooks enabled with LTE are available for customers to borrow for six weeks, with an option to renew three times, subject to availability.
  • Park & Connect – Anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled device can connect to the Libraries’ Wi-Fi network inside and outside of L.A. County Library locations within 25 feet, including parking lots. A Library card is not required.
  • Work Ready – This program hosts weekly virtual events on job skills and career exploration. Participants have access to a laptop and hotspot kit for six weeks from 27 participating libraries.
Laptop and hotspot loans are available to borrow for six weeks. (Courtesy photo)

Los Angeles County’s Internal Services Department (ISD) also provides support to help close the digital divide through the Digital Assistants program at 44 L.A. County Library locations. Digital Assistants are available to offer on-site help with tech support and accessing online resources and information.

“Digital Assistants are visible and available at workstations positioned throughout libraries, ready to help with support, digital literacy and basic computer assistance,” explained ISD Director Selwyn Hollins. “We want to empower people, particularly in underserved communities, and connect them with the means and opportunities to receive one-on-one help for whatever their needs are.”