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St. Louis County Library distributes 1,500 GrandPad tablets

Devices — touted as 'smartest, simplest and safest way to connect seniors with their loved ones' — were purchased with $1M in CARES Act Funds

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County Library will distribute 1,500 GrandPad tablets from 1:30 to 4 p.m. this afternoon (Sunday, March 28) at library headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

The GrandPad is designed to meet the needs of those over age 75 to access technology and stay connected to loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tablets were purchased using $1 million in federal CARES Act funds. The giveaway is part of the Digital Equity Initiative established by St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page in 2020, which included $4 million for tablets and hotspots for St. Louis County students with limited access to the internet.

“This is an exciting partnership, one that allows us to expand on our Digital Equity Initiative,” Page said. “Our commitment from the beginning of this pandemic has been to get resources to those who need them the most.”

The combined impact of social isolation and limited access to technology has been particularly difficult for older adults during the pandemic. The GrandPads, checked out from the library for one year to St. Louis County residents, are tailored to individuals with little or no technology experience.

A built-in data connection is included free with every GrandPad, giving users secure web access. No home internet connection, no data contracts and no additional fees are involved.

Credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI
St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page looks over some of the 1,500 GrandPad tablets to be given away at the St. Louis County Library in Frontenac on Sunday. The GrandPad is designed to meet the needs of those over age 75 to access technology and stay connected to loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From the library’s release:

Users are automatically set up with an email account that is ready to use on the device. GrandPad features large, colorful icons for easy navigation. Powerful, front facing speakers help improve communication for the hearing impaired. The device comes with a hands-free charging cradle, eliminating the need for hard-to-connect charging cords. Easy-to-use video calling and voice, email and text gives seniors multiple options for connecting with caregivers and families. A dedicated GrandPad support person is accessible 24/7/365 by simply touching the “Help” button on the GrandPad home screen.

GrandPad provides access to a wide variety of activities that provide mental stimulation and entertainment, such as music, games, streaming radio, articles, and weather. Users will also be able to easily access Library resources. A direct link to the St. Louis County COVID Information website including vaccination sign up will also be included on the GrandPad.