BPL outdoor Wi-Fi zone pop-ups
Outdoor Wi-Fi zone pop-ups will provide seating, shade, and lighting 24 hours a day at six Boston Public Libraries (BPL) in summer 2021. We're expanding on the free outdoor Wi-Fi already in use at 14 Boston Public Library locations. These pop-ups further our investment in digital equity. We want to make it easier to use and enjoy BPL’s critical free resources, including Wi-Fi, Chromebook rentals, computer assistance, and more. These pop-ups also provide much-needed shade and cooling areas to combat urban heat.
Visit a Wi-Fi Pop-Up Location
Hours and resources
This summer, the Office of Food Access will be distributing Summer Eats at the following pop-up locations June 21 through August 31, 2021:
Codman Square: Tuesday and Thursday, 1 - 3 p.m.
Grove Hall: Tuesday and Thursday, 4 - 6 p.m.
Mattapan: Tuesday and Thursday, 9 - 11 a.m.
The Office of Housing Stability will hold office hours for the Rental Relief Fund at the following pop-up locations July 6 through August 31, 2021.
First week's schedule:
BPL Mattapan - Tuesday July 6, 2021, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
BPL Grove Hall - Thursday July 8, 2021, 3 - 5 p.m.
Recurring schedule after July 8:
BPL Mattapan - Tuesdays, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
BPL Grove Hall - Thursdays, 4 - 6 p.m.
Borrow a BPL device
Boston Public Libraries play a critical role in bridging the digital equity divide. In addition to outdoor Wi-Fi access, Bostonians can borrow devices and hotspots to use the internet at home.
Borrow a Hotspot
Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspots are available for free at any BPL location. Users can borrow them for up to 21 days. Hotspots come with unlimited data and work anywhere in the United States. Learn more about Borrowing a Hotspot.
Borrow a Chromebook
In addition to public computers, every library branch except BPL Central has laptops available to use for up to two hours at the library. All BPL locations have free Wi-Fi inside the library. Learn more about laptop rentals.
To get work done at home, you can borrow a Connectivity Kit. The kit includes both a Chromebook laptop and a Wi-Fi hotspot! Kits contain everything you need to connect to the internet, including a laptop case, mouse, and all charging cables. Learn more about borrowing a Connectivity Kit.
Why we're doing this
Tackling Urban Heat
There were 22 days over 90 degrees in 2015. By 2030, we could see up to 40 days over 90 degrees. Building more shaded public areas ensures people can stay safe and cool on hotter days. With the Environment Department, we're exploring how to deploy low-cost structures that improve heat resilience in Boston.
Investing in Digital Equity
In Boston and across the United States, many families lack reliable Internet access. This creates a digital divide that reinforces inequality. According to a recent Pew Study, more than 40 percent of low-income Americans making less than $30,000 lack access to broadband Internet. Outdoor Wi-Fi at Boston Public Libraries will help fill this critical gap more reliably for residents across the City.
In addition to supporting the needs of residents who are still learning and working remotely, the BPL recognizes that its spaces function as essential community resource hubs. They provide access to a range of services and amenities to support learning, wellness, and social connections. As we emerge from the pandemic, creating joyful shared public spaces to gather and rebuild is more important than ever.