Philadelphians can now use their smartphones to find the closest KEYSPOT public computer labs.
It’s a new feature on the city’s free 311 mobile app, which the city uses to push out other civic apps, like an after-school activities finder and a neighborhood info app.
You can now search for the 51 existing KEYSPOT computer labs, some of which are run by the city and others by community partners. Some are open to the public, while others are available to a specific demographic. (For example, the KEYSPOT at a homeless shelter is solely for its residents.)
To be part of the KEYSPOT network, organizations had to commit to being open for at least 15 hours a week and completing quarterly evaluations.
Since the KEYSPOT program’s federal funding ran out in 2013, 30 KEYSPOT labs have shut down, said Deana Gamble, a spokeswoman for the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy, which now runs the KEYSPOT network. The most common reason, she said, was lack of funding for staff.
The city helps fund 33 of the 51 existing KEYSPOT labs, according to a release. Mayor Michael Nutter budgeted $624,000 to go to KEYSPOT labs. Of that, $487,600 goes toward city-run labs (hosted by the Free Library and neighborhood rec centers), while the rest goes to community-run labs (like those hosted by North Philly’s Congreso and the Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center), former KEYSPOT coordinator Ashley Del Bianco told us earlier this year. Each KEYSPOT in the network also gets free tech support.-30-