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Library Parking Lot Wi-Fi Expansion Project

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Library Parking Lot Wi-Fi Expansion Project

Palm Beach County Library System, Fla.

Digital Equity and Citizenship | 2020

Innovation Summary

The Library Parking Lot Wi-Fi Expansion Project gave the community desperately needed free access to information and resources while allowing them to socially distance in 17 library parking lots throughout the coronavirus hotspot of Palm Beach County, Fla.

Problem Statement

With over 720,000 cases and 14,766 deaths in the state, Palm Beach County in south Florida has been one of the hardest hit areas of the coronavirus epidemic. Residents of all ages needed access to information and government resources available only online, the Census had moved to a digital format and hotspots and laptops were on backorder. Schools and community agencies had closed but restrictions and limited resources made it difficult for the library to help. Expanding Wi-Fi was the fastest solution!


Innovation

The County's Library and Information System Services partnered to extend the library’s Wi-Fi signal throughout the parking lots using Cares Act funds. The Library Parking Lot Wi-Fi Expansion Project provided internet access to residents throughout one of the most diverse counties in the state. It enabled members to socially distance in the parking lot using their laptop or mobile device and provided an internet connection to those who might not have service in their homes.


Progress

The $25,000 CARES Act funded expansion project was completed as of August 2020 in all 17 Palm Beach County Library locations. To highlight the Library Parking Lot Wi-Fi Expansion Project, eight Palm Beach County Library locations participated in PARK(ing) Day on Fri, September 18, by setting up a “park” in their parking lots.