ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The GrandPad tablet program is expanding at the St. Louis County Library. The library is providing more of the tablets to help older adults access technology and connect with their loved ones.
The tablets are easy to use and designed for people with little to no technology experience, particularly for those over 75 years old. The GrandPads come with built-in cellular data, so users won’t need Wi-Fi to access their email, make calls, share photos and use the internet.
Older adults can apply for a GrandPad for a year on the library’s website. The application closes on July 13 at 5:00 p.m. Seniors must be a resident of St. Louis County and have a St. Louis County Library card.
The GrandPads were purchased using American Rescue Plan Act funding. The program is part of a $4 million Digital Equity Initiative that St. Louis County Executive Sam Page created.
“The GrandPads have proven to be a valuable connection to resources for our older residents,” said Page. “I appreciate the Council allocating these funds so that we can expand this popular program.”
The program was first launched in 2021 with 1,500 tablets initially bought with CARES act funding. In March 2022, St. Louis County set aside $2 million in ARPA funding to continue the program. The money went to paying for another year of GrandPads that are currently in use, and to pay for 1,500 additional GrandPads.
SLCL says users have already logged over 280,000 hours on the tablets and have made over 4,800 Zoom calls.