Library Connects People to Technology During COVID-19 Crisis

Monday, April 27, 2020
KMBC screenshot of computer giveaway event
The Kansas City Public Library partnered with Connecting for Good and Kansas City Public Schools on April 17, 2020, to distribute 80 computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, headphones, and Turn the Page KC activity packets to KCPS families lacking internet access. Materials were distributed in the parking lot of the Library's Southeast Branch; many patrons in the neighborhood typically rely on the Library for regular computer and internet access. 

Connecting for Good continues to take donations of computers and computer accessories, especially now when so many students are in need of access to technology in order to continue their education while under stay-at-home orders. Visit the Connecting for Good website for more information on donating gently used electronic equipment.


Connecting for Good providing computers at Library's Southeast Branch

Tom Esselman, CEO of Connecting for Good, goes over a checklist of technology being distributed to people in the parking lot of the Library's Southeast Branch.
Computers provided by Connecting for Good.
Computers and other equipment were made available to families who typically rely on internet access at the Library.


Library CONTINUES ConnectING Patrons

One of the essential services the Library provides to the community is free and open access to computers and the internet. Many students use public computers for homework and research, and residents stop by to check email, pay bills, search and apply for jobs, and stay connected to the world. With the coronavirus pandemic causing significant disruption in everyday life (including the temporary closing of the Library's physical locations), the digital divide that exists in our society threatens to become even more pronounced. The Library regularly offers ways to learn more about technology, including drop-in sessions on how to use computers, digital devices, and online tools. And during the COVID-19 crisis, it continues to connect patrons with vital resources and information.
Image of WiFi yard signs at Library location
Wi-Fi Access
Even though our buildings are closed, the Library continues to provide free wireless internet access outside all 10  of its locations. We've enhanced signals so patrons can access our free network in our parking lots — no password required.

Tech Access
The Library's Tech Access program continues to offer guidance to patrons with questions about where to find technology resources such as free or low-cost devices, internet access, or how-to information. Tech Coaches provide online Tech Tips video sessions covering a variety of topics, and they answer questions from the public.