St. Louis Public Library’s long-term Chromebook and Hotspot Program is expanding with the help of additional federal funding.

SLPL requested a second wave of funding from the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) to purchase an additional 1,500 Chromebooks and 8,000 hotspots to be used by City of St. Louis residents who don’t otherwise have internet or computer access.

Through the ECF, SLPL has already loaned out 4,000 hotspots and 4,000 Chromebooks. This additional funding not only allows the library to purchase additional equipment but to extend the due dates for all 17,500 devices through September 30, 2023.

“Digital access is a necessity in today’s world,” said Waller McGuire, CEO of St. Louis Public Library. “We continue to provide the traditional services that many of us remember from our youth, but libraries also are major technology providers and strive to overcome barriers to online access. We are grateful to the federal government for supporting the important role libraries play in digital connectivity. I would also like to thank the SLPL staff for taking on this major project in addition to their regular work and helping it succeed: every cent of this money went to equipment placed in public hands.”

The ECF is a federal program, which gives funding to schools and libraries to provide internet connectivity and technology to communities.

To check out a device, an individual will need to:

* be a resident of the City
* visit one of the 16 SLPL locations
* have an SLPL card or sign up for a card