Leveling the Playing Field: Library Launches Mobile Hotspot Lending Program
Posted By: Tina Walker Davis
Date Posted: 11/10/2021
You can check out books, movies, “things” like air fryers, museum passes, and so much more from your library. And now Deschutes County residents can even check out the internet with Deschutes Public Library’s new mobile hotspot collection.
Giving Deschutes County residents the ability to connect to the internet helps bridge the digital divide, which refers to the gap between people and communities who do not have reliable access to technology—like the internet—and those who do. Libraries play a significant role in advancing digital literacy in their communities, and access to the internet is increasingly essential to function in the modern world.
What is the mobile hotspot Collection? Deschutes Public Library now has 50 mobile hotspot devices that county residents can check out for up to three weeks (starting November 15). Each hotspot works much like a WiFi network in a home or a business: it transmits an internet connection to which you can connect a smartphone, computer, or tablet.
Who can check out a mobile hotspot from Deschutes Public Library? Deschutes Public Library card holders who reside in Deschutes County can check out a mobile hotspot (applies to adult and juvenile cards; one hotspot check out per card). Devices can be placed on hold via the catalog at https://dpl.pub/hotspotkits. Hotspots can be checked out at the main service desk at all Deschutes Public Library locations.
How long can hotspots be checked out for? Are there late fines? Mobile hotspots can be checked out for three weeks. Hotspots cannot be renewed; devices will be deactivated if they are overdue. While there isn’t a late fine, there is a replacement charge for mobile hotspot devices and/or cases and charging cables that are not returned within 21 days of their due date.
How many devices can be connected to a mobile hotspot? Up to five devices can link to one hotspot at a time. Note that the more devices that are linked to a hotspot, the slower the internet speed may be.
Can the mobile hotspots be used anywhere? The hotspots need to connect to a cell tower in order to function as an internet connection. As long as the device can connect to a cell tower, users can access the internet using the hotspot.