Saint Paul Public Library Wins Knight Green Line Challenge

wi-fi“Borrow the Internet” project will offer loans of Wi-Fi hotspots with free Internet service

SAINT PAUL, OCTOBER 14, 2014 – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced today that the Saint Paul Public Library’s “Borrow the Internet” project was among sixteen winners of the Knight Green Line Challenge. The library received a $49,700 grant to increase Internet access in neighborhoods adjacent to the Green Line by lending out Wi-Fi hotspots from Rondo and Merriam Park Libraries. The library will launch “Borrow the Internet” later this year.

Twenty-two percent of Saint Paul households have no Internet service in the home. “Borrow the Internet” offers free portable Wi-Fi hotspots for the first time in Saint Paul. The hotspots will provide free Internet service that can be used 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, in any location.

A major project focus is providing Wi-Fi hotspots for Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) students who lack home Internet access and are using District-provided iPads. The library will offer iPad classes to parents of SPPS students to further support student and family learning. Other library cardholders will also be able to borrow hotspots to access the Internet outside of the library’s open hours.

“Borrow the Internet” will be based at two libraries situated close to the Green Line: Rondo Library, at 461 North Dale Street, and Merriam Park Library, at 1831 Marshall Avenue.

With Internet service and a library card, Saint Paul residents can access vital digital learning resources, including live homework help, practice tests for the SATs, e-books and magazines, reference assistance, and more. By borrowing Wi-Fi, an individual can take the time to complete an online job application or an e-government form that must be submitted in one online session.

About the Knight Green Line Challenge
An initiative of Knight Foundation, the three-year, $1.5 million challenge is a community-wide contest seeking projects to make Saint Paul neighborhoods along the new Green Line even more vibrant places to live, work, play and visit. The first year of the contest drew 579 applicants. For more information and to see all the winning projects, visit: KnightGreenLineChallenge.org.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The Foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. Find more at www.KnightFoundation.org.

About Saint Paul Public Library
Saint Paul Public Library connects people in Saint Paul with the imperative and the joy of learning through a lifetime. Saint Paul residents can enjoy free access to technology, books, movies, music, classes and more. They’re located in twelve neighborhood libraries, George Latimer Central Library and the Bookmobile. Visit them in your neighborhood or online at sppl.org.

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