Free Library of Philadelphia
 
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There have been a number of news stories over the past few weeks discussing the digital divide that still exists around the world.

Studies and statistics show that access to the internet has improved over recent years to a certain extent, but that there are still 60 million Americans who have no online access, many of them elderly, poor, and minorities. Another study says that access to smartphones has helped cut the gap, but that a great number of people still lack basic computer skills. Last week, Facebook announced the launch of Internet.org, teaming up with telecom companies Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, and Samsung, to make the internet available to everyone on Earth, specifically focusing on underdeveloped countries.

The Free Library is doing our part to help bridge the digital divide with free computer and internet access in our libraries, and computer classes ranging from internet basics, learning how to set up an email account, to applying for a job online. Our Hot Spots services and Techmobile also help to bring computer access to neighborhood residents throughout Philadelphia and educate on the importance and value of technology.

Visit one of our neighborhood libraries today and inquire about any of the above services!

Tags: Hot Spots, Techmobile, tech, website

Free Library Hot Spots
Free Library Hot Spots
Techmobile
Techmobile
The digital divide is a worldwide issue
The digital divide is a worldwide issue
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inside the A47
inside the A47

 

A few weeks ago, we posted about LiLi, a experimental hi-tech library vehicle from Canada. Today, meet A47, a mobile library in Mexico City that has taken a decidedly low-tech angle to reach out and deliver library services.

Instead of the cutting-edge digital delivery of library services, including digital literacy training, e-book downloads and content-creation workshops, you'll find on our Techmobile, A47 is instead a mobile community center, flexible arts and performance space, and art library. From a description of this vehicle:

"The floor of the lorry comprises a series of mobile platforms giving access to the bookshelves, allowing the space to be re-arranged according to the different activities taking place. The micro perforated sheet surround acts as a permeable membrane that merges the outside and inside, making the space an exercise in honesty with its environment. From the street, one's view of the transparent intricacy that suspends the large solid volume allows a glimpse of the diverse range of titles inside, while also acting as an urban beacon through the night. This illumination — produced by the lorry's own integrated electricity generator — provides a reassuring glow when the streets fall dark, and announces the start of its nightly programme."

Read more here.

 

 

 

Tags: Techmobile

A47 by night
A47 by night
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Today we're at 25th and Lehigh, serving One Day at a Time Recovery and other recovery houses in this neighborhood, providing access and assistance for people getting online for the first time, working on resumes, and learning about social media privacy. We've just heard about a new mobile digital library project, in Canada, that is similar to our Techmobile program. 

Read more about LiLi, a digital outreach vehicle from Fraser Valley Regional Library, in British Columbia here.

This project is Fraser Valley's Library Live and On Tour project, to promote library service and reach deeper into their communities. And also just like our Techmobile, LiLi is loaded with e-readers, a sound system and other digital tools to promote service "through community development, access to information, adult literacy advocay and awareness."

British Columbia is too far away for a visit, so the Techmobile and LiLi will have to keep their friendship online for now. Fan our Facebook page to keep track of where we are!

To request the Techmobile at your event or organization, please click here.  

 

Tags: Techmobile

LiLi, another library vehicle
LiLi, another library vehicle
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Techmobile outside Citizens Bank Park
Techmobile outside Citizens Bank Park
Stop by on your way into the park!
Stop by on your way into the park!

The Techmobile is parked outside the third base gate at Citizens Bank Park, helping welcome Phillies fans to the game tonight as they face off against the Marlins. (OK--we're welcoming everyone, but rest assured we're mostly seeing red.)

Stop by and say hi on your way into the game.

While you're on board, you can register for a new library card, learn how to download "We are the Champions" and other music to your mp3 player for free from the Library website, or check out a picture book for fidgety little ones as the night goes on.

If you happen to see us and get a chance to snap our picture out and about, please email it to us at techmobile@freelibrary.org.

 

Tags: Techmobile

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The Techmobile at North Bowl.
The Techmobile at North Bowl.

Last week, the Techmobile traveled to North Second Street to participate in the Food Trust's Night Market, a "roving street fair celebrating the city's ethnic restaurants, gourmet food trucks and coolest neighborhoods from the people who brought you Headhouse Farmer's Market." 

Thank you to Oron at North Bowl, who graciously let us park in his lot. We spent many hours talking to people and inviting them on board for tours of the Techmobile. In addition, we demonstrated how to check out Library e-books on your Kindle, iPad or other reader, and registered many new friends for library cards.

Between the dynamic and happy crowd, fantastic live music playing in the open storefront across the street,  the delicious smells wafting about from Philly's finest food trucks, and seeing many old and new faces, the Techmobile team felt right at home. We can't wait for next month! Thanks again to the Food Trust for having us. 

Tags: Techmobile

Our friends at the Food Trust.
Our friends at the Food Trust.
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