TechLocator is a service to help Chicago residents and visitors find places that offer free or affordable technology resources and services, like computers with Internet access, Wi-Fi hotspots and technology training.
In 2007, the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Closing the Digital Divide noted that “Like the railroads of yesteryear, the Internet is the infrastructure of today’s global society and economy. To search for jobs, learn about health care, buy or sell goods and services or simply stay in touch with family and friends, the Internet enables new levels of information, connection and transaction.”
Many City departments and sister agencies provide technology resources and services to support these activities. For example, the Chicago Public Library’s Internet-connected computers and free Wi-Fi at its more than 70 library branches are available to all Chicago residents; the Department of Innovation and Technology provides free Wireless Internet Zones. Senior Centers have computer labs and technology training classes for residents aged 50+; the Department of Family and Support Services funds delegate agencies that provide computer access and training to underserved individuals seeking employment; and some Chicago Public Schools sites offer computer and Internet access and technology training opportunities to parents and caregivers.
TechLocator brings all these resources to one virtual place, allowing residents and visitors—including those with limited digital skills—to easily find convenient and publicly-accessible technology resources and services.