Cranston Public Library receives laptops, 4G access through Mobile Beacon grant

Cranston Public Library has received a technology grant from Mobile Beacon to support technology programs for children and teens. The grant includes the donation of 10 laptops and two WiFi hotspots, allowing the library to bring technology-based programs to locations lacking computer access, Internet, or both.

“We are excited about the opportunities this Mobile Beacon grant affords us,” said Library Director Edward Garcia. “Having more and better technology will allow us to travel to our branch locations and other areas of the city to engage Cranston youth in a new way.”

Between September and December 2014, Cranston Public Library’s Youth Services Department offered 22 technology-based programs for young people, with a total attendance of 193 participants.

“But we could have doubled that number,” said Youth Services Coordinator Emily Brown. “We were limited by the number of computers available, and we had waiting lists for every program.”

With this new grant, Cranston Public Library’s Youth Services Department will have the ability to expand its number of technology-based programs and participants, as well as partner with other organizations to reach young people who don’t have transportation to the library. With movie-making and Minecraft clubs already underway, the library will soon expand programming into other gaming and coding channels.

Located in Johnston, Mobile Beacon is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing affordable, mobile, high-speed Internet access to other nonprofits so they can better carry out their missions. With a focus on assisting disadvantaged or at-risk youth, Mobile Beacon donates laptops and 4G modems to libraries and schools.

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