KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Public Library received $853,212 from the federal Emergency Connectivity Fund, which the library will use to purchase over a thousand laptops and hundreds of Wi-Fi hotspots.
The library announced Monday the funds will increase access to broadband internet in the community, according to a release.
The Federal Communications Commission announced that the funds will be for 260 library systems and individual libraries. The funding for the Kansas City Public Library was the fourth-largest of the first wave.
The over $850,000 "will be used to purchase 1,200 Chromebooks with built-in 4G LTE and 300 hotspots with unlimited data to supplement the Library's current hotspot lending program," according to the release.
"These additions to the Library’s resources will not only help keep up with the evolving needs created by remote work but also heighten the Library's reach and access to its digital resources," the release said. "The new devices will also help expand services previously introduced in the last 18 months to address the technology gap being felt by students and adults studying and working remotely."
The ECF is a part of the American Rescue Plan, which was approved by the U.S. Congress in March, and it was designed to help schools and libraries provide online resources to students, staff and library patrons.