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Cell Phone Lending Program

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Cell Phone Lending Program

Las Vegas-Clark County Library District

Equity and Inclusion | 2023 | Top Innovator

Innovation Synopsis

The Library District has taken this approach to technology outreach a step farther with a program for our most vulnerable residents. In April 2022, we launched a Cell Phone Lending Program, which provided 435 smart phones to low-income residents, and adults and teens experiencing homelessness.


  • Those experiencing homelessness use mobile devices as a life line – a primary means of staying connected to friends, families, and essential services.
  • Our program puts internet connectivity into the hands of 435 at-risk adults and teens.
  • Phones pre-loaded with contacts for social and employment services, community & library educational resources.

Key Elements of Innovation

  • Partners: NV Homeless Alliance, NV Partnership for Homeless Youth, Premier Wireless.
  • Funding: $200K Federal LTSA ARP Act grant via IMLS & NV State Library plus $20K ALA COVID Library Relief Fund grant.
  • Pre-screened clients attended an event with one-on-one tutorials, a vendor fair with social service providers, library card sign-ups, immunizations and mobile shower truck.
  • After 18 months, clients can keep their phone and number, and can continue service at their own expense.

Achieved Outcomes

Client survey:

  • 82% new phone is their only personal access to the internet
  • 80% use it to access social services
  • 78% use it to apply for employment

Client comments:

  • "I'm thankful to our Lord Jesus Christ for this phone and the library. Thank you for such a priceless resource."
  • "This is a much-needed resource. I have been able to take care of many things. This program has really helped me a lot."
  • "Very grateful to have access to email and internet."
  • "Without this phone, man, I would most likely be dead."