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The NYPL’s “Check Out the Internet” project will lend WiFi hotspots for up to one year at a time and plans to distribute the service through various educational initiatives already running across its neighborhood library branches—for example, Out of School Time programs, technology training classes, and courses in English for speakers of other languages.
The NYPL actually launched a mini version of the program last month, distributing 100 devices across four library branches. According to NYPL president Tony Marx, it’s still too early to draw any conclusions from the 100-household pilot, but they’ve already begun collecting data like how much time participants are spending online and whether they’re using the devices at home or elsewhere. This information will guide the larger roll-out aimed at 10,000 households with an anticipated cost of $1 million. The Knight Foundation grant will get the NYPL half of the way there, and the library is currently trying to fundraise for the rest.
More on the Chicago program and future endeavors in the article.
This post provides information on how librarians can donate money to help rebuild libraries impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Ms. Skinner's goal is to get as much of the library community involved as possible, and she has created a Twitter hashtag (#sandylibraries) and space in the blog comments for people to share their donations so she can track them. She is also asking for suggestions, so she can build as comprehensive a list as possible.
Nice story from The Baltimore Sun: A former employee of the Baltimore County Public Library, who died in 2006, has left nearly half a million dollars to the foundation that supports to the 17-branch library system.
"It is the largest one-time gift in the history of the Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library," said foundation president Jeffrey Smith.
The gift of $475,000 came from the estate of former librarian Margaret "Peggy" Peterson, whose 23 years with BCPL had made her a familiar face at the Reisterstown, Catonsville and Pikesville branches, and at the BCPL administrative offices in Towson.
"We are grateful to Ms. Peterson for her generosity and for her careful planning," Smith said.
The Friends of the Rancho Mirage (CA) Public Library will hand almost all of its $2.2 million in assets over to Rancho Mirage and dissolve itself, under the terms of a settlement agreement which will end the city’s lawsuit against the organization. Report from My Desert News.
The city is to get $310,000 from the Friends’ account within a week to cover Library programs, improvements to the Community Room and other items included in the city’s funding request to the Friends from last August. About $1.8 million will be transferred to the Rancho Mirage Public Library Foundation, which the city formed as a replacement library fundraising arm when it filed suit in September.
The settlement ends a dispute which erupted in the fall of 2008, when the Friends board gave approval to buying a $25,000 sponsorship of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, a transaction never made after some board members raised objections.
This led to the city’s discovery that the Friends board had changed its bylaws, without notifying city officials, to eliminate an annual, automatic transfer of funds. The city had overlooked the end of the fund transfers.
The Friends board said most of the money it had in the bank was designated by donors to be in an endowment, set aside to draw interest, and not spent itself.