Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) has provided more than 7,000 Chromebooks and 2,800 Launchpad learning tablets for children to public libraries across Georgia as part of $2.3 million Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds awarded by Gov. Brian Kemp.
The funds are intended to support learning recovery initiatives and programs as educators and students continue to confront the learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Students, workers, and job seekers already are checking these items out and using them in their daily lives,” said Vice Chancellor for Archives and Libraries and State Librarian Julie Walker. “These will replenish the connectivity and remote learning devices in our state’s public libraries, and they will make a huge impact in the many rural areas our libraries serve.”
Georgia Public Library Service shipped the equipment directly to each library to ensure fast deployment in communities where they are needed most. In addition to the Chromebooks and learning tablets, GPLS also purchased charge carts and laptop bags for libraries. All 60 public library systems in Georgia received devices.
The Launchpads arrive at libraries preloaded with applications and games that encourage language and literacy development.
“I was talking with a family who was checking out a Launchpad,” said Debby Gerl, assistant branch manager at the Sequoyah Regional Library System. “They were already back for their second one since Monday of this week! Their little girl is in first grade but struggling a little with reading, and the mom is very impressed with the language-centered Launchpads.”
The girl showed Gerl which games she was most excited to play on the device, and she even ran over to the library display to show which Launchpad she wanted to check out next.
The Worth County Library in south central Georgia received 13 Launchpads, and patrons checked out 11 in the first three days of starting the new service.
Gina Dorminey checked out a Launchpad for her sons. “My six-year-old has enjoyed practicing his sight words in a new, game-like format,” she said. “It has boosted his confidence enough to start picking up books to read by himself.” Dorminey’s 3-year-old enjoys practicing writing numbers on the device and hearing the sound each letter makes with each tap of his finger.
“There has been an amazing response from our patrons,” said Director Leigh Wiley.
To check out a device at your library, visit in person or search their online catalog.