A new Nexus 7 tablet. (Source: Wikipedia)

A new Nexus 7 tablet. (Source: Wikipedia)

It’s rare whenever Southern Brooklyn get a cool new tech or cultural addition ahead of, like, anywhere else in the city, but the Brooklyn Public Library and Google are looking to reward us for our suffering from Sandy.

Google, a company which knows all and has all the money, generously donated 1,000 fresh Nexus 7 tablet’s to libraries in Brooklyn devastated by Superstorm Sandy. According to a press release, Google, along with Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Fund for Public Schools, donated a whopping 17,000 tablets to New York City libraries, senior centers and community centers, amounting to a $2.7 million donation.

The tablets will be used to support a range of functions, including English as a second language training, job training or simply serving as eReaders. Library patrons will even be able to borrow the tablets, just like a book, free to add music, movies and other apps, as long as they come back freshly deleted when returned.

The tablets will be available for loan from Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Gerritsen Beach, Red Hook and Sheepshead Bay libraries.

Linda Johnson, the president of the Brooklyn Public Library, was thrilled with the donation.

“These communities were some of the worst hit by Hurricane Sandy, so they are receiving priority access to our new tablet lending program. Providing digital learning opportunities is at the forefront of our Library’s mission, so now, one year after the storm, we are thrilled to be able to offer this wonderful new resource to our patrons,” Johnson said in the release.

Wow, the library just got a lot cooler. Also, if you think that borrowing a tablet and never returning it would only cost you 15 cents or so in overdue fees, think again. According to the Brooklyn Library’s webpage on the Tablet Lending Program, you are going to owe $200 bucks for a lost or broken tablet, so be sure not to spill any coffee on it (looking at you, Ned).

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  • bruce b

    This won’t last long. The tablets shouldn’t be allowed out of the library.. come on, someone stole my dirty ski hat last year, lets be realistic. I wouldn’t mind my tax money going to a worthwhile endeavor like this elsewhere, but they will be stolen in very little time. Nail the tablets to the table and its a great idea.

    • BrooklynBus

      If they just let you borrow the tablets for use within the library, there would be no wait to use the desktop computers. I assume they will ask for your credit card number when borrowing one of these. I can’t see another way for them to collect when one is lost, broken, or stolen.

      Also who will test them upon return to make sure they are still functioning? What if you return it in good condition and the next person breaks it and then tells the librarian he received it broken?

      Also if credit cards are required, that eliminates most students and some seniors. I can foresee all types of problems.

      • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

        Credit cards are not required, or at least not listed as a requirement on the website. I may go borrow one today just to check out the process. Would people be interested in an update if I do so?

        • levp

          Yes.
          Keep in mind that a valid library card is required, and to get one you need to provide an ID and a utility bill to verify the address, so they know who is checking out these things.
          The real question is, are they going to check photo ID in addition to just scanning the library card when checking out a tablet. Otherwise, if my library ID gets lost or stolen, whoever finds it can get a tablet at my expense…

        • sadeyes

          Yes Ned I’m always interested in what you have to say!

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      I don’t believe any tax dollars went to this. The bulk of it was a Google donation. I’m not sure if Cuomo or the Fund for Public Schools actually put money into it or just signed on for credit, but if they did, I still think those are private funds.

      • bruce b

        yes, that’s why I said using my tax money “elsewhere” for things such as this (this is my fault, my writing isn’t always so clear). But not if people are just going to walk out with them.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      I don’t see any practical benefit here. Having a temporary tablet is of limited value to the user. And some will be stolen, and some will be broken. It would be better for Google to work on a simple tablet that could be sold quite inexpensively. Then the people who borrow tablets might be able to afford one of their own.

      • levp

        I don’t think even Google can make a device for $20. Plenty of my older neighbors would not be able to pay more than that for a non-essential item, but might borrow it temporarily when needed.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          I was thinking along the lines of $35. I do believe it could be done.

          Maybe its because I find constant use for data files, but I just can’t comprehend someone needing a tablet for a short extended period.

          • BrooklynBus

            I think Google is doing it just as an advertisement for the tablets hoping people will like it so much after testing it out for a while that they will go out and purchase one.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            I’m sure that is part of their thinking. But if they realize tat many of the people using these tablets couldn’t afford to pay the usual price perhaps they will consider developing a model that could be sold cheaply to these people.

            There are laptops of limited functionally that sell for little more than $100.

  • Nelson Fernandez

    I hope they wipe the tablets (physically and software wise) with every new lend out…

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      That’s the plan.

  • EndofDaze

    The Google folks aren’t stupid, as everyone knows, cause like Gates, and Jobs, they know how to make an enterprise a cash cow. There is an immense push today, with a lot of money behind it, in getting these gadgets into the schools, and the hands of kids. And the jury is still out, as to whether or not, these gadgets, from tablets to SmartBoards, are actually enabling the students to better learn the bottom line, in other words, grasping the subjects they are being taught. A chalkboard and a teacher who stands in front of his or her children, still might be the best way to go! Nonetheless, giving these libraries the Nexus Tablets, shows there is not just alruism in this, cause, the companies that make The IPads and Surface Pro 2 and the like, are making major pushes to get into the schools, and there is a direct link betweeen our libraries and our schools. And yes, for you cynics out there, who doubt their worth, you can be sure, there is probably some money being slipped under the table, to get one brands over another, into these institutions!!!

    • bruce b

      So, there’s a little profit motive in it for Google. That’s how capitalism works. It’s better than the high-horse, moral-sounding liberals taking my money and using it for causes that make everyone poor and lazier and greedier, and ends up going into the pockets of people who vote for them.
      What, if the money came from the govt, suddenly that’s good, altruistic money? Geez.

      • levp

        Free public libraries are gateway to communism anyway, AMIRITE?!

        • bruce b

          Yeah, I disposed of that copy of Das Kapital just last week…
          I always thought libraries should charge for taking out books. I mean, I nickel, a dime, quarter. Why should this be free, and the library has funding issues?
          If libraries were the gateway to Communism, I’d be wearing red and using a Mao’s pad (I did buy a Mao’s Pad for my computer at work from a radical store once).

          I didn’t mean to go off the deep end, but when the article is about a company donating a couple of mill, and it gets answered with the usual rhetoric, it’s time to speak up.

    • bruce b

      A company donates 2.7 mill of equipment, and there still needs to be the anti-corporation criticism. Hey, be this strict on the Obama administration. No, betcha he still gets a free ride.

      • levp

        Google does something. Thanks, Obama!

        • bruce b

          Where do u come up with these things bahaha

  • guest

    I just don’t see the need to allow people to take tablets home. Use them at the library, and there’s no problem.

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      Some people do not have computers, smart phones or any of that stuff at home. For them, the library has been the only place for them to access the Internet’s vast knowledge, or use tools like email or video phone calls. Now they can take that home and use, perhaps, Optimum’s free (albeit slow) wifi, or something like that. Actually, it would be quite a service if Optimum offered their wifi specifically for these library devices, so non-customers could access it.

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  • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

    FYI – I went to pick one up yesterday just to go through the whole process. They do not yet have them at the local branches. They’re available in Coney Island. They will become available at the remaining branches sometime between now and the end of the year.