Tablets & Wi-Fi Hubs Available for Loan

Information for Borrowers | Media Release | Community Partners

Information for Borrowers

Can anyone borrow a tablet?

You must be referred by a community partner agency to borrow a device, and only Library staff can place holds on the devices

What are the community partner agencies?

See the list below

What if an organization I work with isn't on the list?

The Library is open to working with new community partners. Ask them to contact Tina Maronese at 684-6813 / tmaronese@tbpl.ca for more information  

What can I use it for?

The tablets and Wi-Fi hubs are available to help those who need it most access digital resources and community. Some activities they might be used for include:

  • job searching
  • emailing or social media messaging with friends or family
  • attending video appointments
  • reading news or researching information
  • accessing Library resources like eBooks or streaming free movies
  • at-home school tasks

Where can I find information about borrowing online books or movies through the Library?

The Digital Library info page

What happens if I use up all the data?

The Wi-Fi hub has unlimited data

How many devices can I borrow at once?

Each user can only borrow one device (includes tablet and Wi-Fi hub) at a time

How long can I keep it?

The loan period is four weeks (28 days)

Can I keep it past that date? Can it be renewed?

No renewals

Where can I pick up the device?

Pick up is available at any open Library branch. Library staff will contact you when it is available at your chosen branch

Where can I return the device?

Devices must be returned during Library open hours directly to Library staff at any location. Please do not return this breakable item through our night drop

Can I save information on this device?

The device will be electronically wiped between patrons so any information should be saved elsewhere prior to return

Can you add Google Meet, Drive, or Gmail apps to the device?

The apps cannot be added but you can access those services by logging in through a web browser

Is there other technology available for loan?

Chromebooks will be available starting in April

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Media Release - Issued 3 February 2021

tablet and rocket hubThe goal of the program is to bridge the digital divide separating those who can and can’t afford technology, by loaning devices and rocket hubs to those who need the items the most. The devices can be used to connect people to online services such as health care, counselling sessions, family and friends, job searching, accessing online books and other media, at-home schooling, and viewing local and international news.  

A referral is required in order to access the devices.  There are over 25 community organizations working with the Library to refer people to the program.  The Library is open to working with other community partners as well.  Please contact Tina Maronese at 684-6813 / tmaronese@tbpl.ca to indicate your interest in being a partner organization.  

For those who relied on places like TBPL for social support  (a social determinant of health) and digital access, the forced isolation of COVID-19 has had an even greater impact on their health. This project provides a virtual lifeline, potentially improving patrons’ emotional, mental and physical health.  We are grateful for the support of the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund, the Thunder Bay Community Foundation and the United Way of Thunder Bay for funding this program.

For more information, please connect with a Community Partner agency or with the Library at 345-8275 / virtual@tbpl.ca


Media Release - Issued November, 2020

The Thunder Bay Public Library’s Bridging the Digital Divide - Access for Those Who Need it Most program has received funding from the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund, the Thunder Bay Community Foundation and the United Way of Thunder Bay in the amount of $23,800.  

In addition, the Library was also approved for a separate grant program called Working in Partnership to Bridge the Digital Divide, which was also supported by the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund, the Thunder Bay Community Foundation and the United Way of Thunder Bay in the amount of $69,700.

The goal of these programs is to bridge the digital divide separating those who can and can’t afford technology by loaning devices and rocket hubs (wifi access) to those who need these items the most.  The devices can be used to connect people to online health care services, family & friends, job searching, accessing online books and other media, taking part in at-home schooling, counselling, viewing local and international news and more.

TBPL is working with 20 community partners to loan this technology to those identified with the greatest need. Given the continued uncertainty of how a second wave of COVID-19 infections will impact our region - and the rest of the world - digital access is imperative and is now an urgent need for everyone, but particularly for members of marginalized communities.  While this program was prompted by the immediate impacts of COVID-19, the Library understands that technology loan programs like this will be needed well beyond the end of the pandemic. The program will also help to deliver on the Library’s strategic objective of mitigating the impact of poverty and homelessness, as identified in the Library’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan.

Fifty devices and rocket hubs are now available for loan starting on Monday, November 9, 2020.  The first clients referred to the program are from NorWest Community Health Centres as part of their IT Prescription program and also from Thunder Bay Counselling.  

TBPL has a long history of loaning items to people, so this makes us ideally positioned to work with a wide variety of social service agencies and partner organizations to help ensure that their clients have access to the technology that they need. The Library is also used to teaching people how to use computers and other devices and will be offering instruction guides and technology coaching along the way.

For those who relied on places like TBPL for social supports  (a social determinant of health) and digital access, the forced isolation of COVID-19 has had an even greater impact on their health. This project will provide a virtual lifeline, potentially improving patrons’ emotional, mental and physical health.  We are grateful for the support of the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund, the Thunder Bay Community Foundation and the United Way of Thunder Bay.

Contact:   Tina Maronese - 807-630-5664 - tmaronese@tbpl.ca

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Community Partners

  • Alpha Court
  • Alzheimer’s Society of Thunder Bay
  • Anishinabek Employment and Training Services
  • Brain Injury Services Northern Ontario
  • Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Catholic Family Development Centre
  • Community Living Thunder Bay
  • Crossroads Centre
  • Dilico Anishinabek Family Services
  • Elevate Northwest
  • Elizabeth Fry Society NWO
  • Hospice Northwest
  • Injured Workers Support Group
  • John Howard Society
  • Kinna Aweya Legal Clinic
  • Lakehead Social Planning Council
  • Lutheran Community Care Centre (Mobile Integrated Team)
  • Maamawi Counselling Centre
  • March of Dimes
  • Metis Nation of Thunder Bay
  • Mindful Makers Collective
  • New Directions Speakers School
  • North Superior Workforce Planning Board
  • Northwest Employment Works
  • Northwestern Ontario Women's Centre
  • NorWest Community Health Centres
  • Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy
  • OPTIONS Northwest
  • Our Kids Count
  • Path 525
  • Roots to Harvest
  • Shkoday
  • Sister Margaret Smith Centre
  • Thunder Bay Counselling
  • Thunder Bay Literacy Group
  • YES Employment Services
  • Youth Inclusion Program (YIP), City of Thunder Bay

The Library is open to working with other community partners as well.  Please contact Tina Maronese at 684-6813 / tmaronese@tbpl.ca to indicate your interest.

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