Edwards Public Library Henrietta to launch hotspot checkouts
the Edwards Public Library in Henrietta was chosen by the Tocker Foundation to implement a hotspot loan program for residents of Clay County, according to a press release.
The library has received 10 hotspot mobile devices to provide wireless internet access. They can be withdrawn from patrons for three weeks, just like other library materials.
The objective of the project is to strengthen the availability of broadband in rural counties.
“These hotspots will help our community access the Internet in a number of ways,” library administrator Norma Ruiz-Hearne said in a press release.
“You may be traveling to a remote area without WiFi and need to stay in touch with your work or family, or you may be digitally disconnected and need to complete a school class or help your kids with homework,” Ruiz-Hearne said. “Now we have hotspots for your convenience. ”
She said that although pocket hotspots look like cell phones, they won’t make calls.
They can provide free internet service to smartphone, laptop, tablet or other WiFi enabled devices.
According to Ruiz-Hearne, library programs aimed at “lending the Internet” to bridge the digital divide have been successfully implemented in many places through mobile hotspot devices based on cellphones.
Mobile technology offers many unique access opportunities in neighborhoods and communities suffering from a lack of available broadband at home due to affordability issues, as well as the sheer lack of local facilities.
“Tocker donated the hotspots,” Ruiz-Hearne said.
“They will pay for Internet service for about 16 months. If we choose to continue offering this service, we will have to budget for it,” she said.
The Tocker Foundation was established in 1964 to pursue the philanthropic interests of Phillip and Olive Tocker.
The foundation supports small rural Texas community libraries serving populations of 12,000 or less. The foundation partners with libraries to meet the needs of their communities.
For more information, call the Edwards Public Library at 940-538-4791.