Getting connected: Library internet hotspot program launches Monday | News

Libraries may be known as repositories of books but you’ll find a lot more than just that at the Washington Carnegie Public Library. Patrons can check out books and movies, browse the internet, work on genealogy, participate in arts and culture programs, and visit the STEM lab among other things. Beginning Monday, patrons will also be able to check out mobile hotspots so they can be connected to the internet from anywhere.

“We have 20 of these T-Mobile hotspots that were funded through the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Connectivity Fund,” said Cailey Moreland, STEM coordinator at the library. “These are available at no cost to our patrons and are the newest hotspots available.”

With e-learning becoming more popular, Moreland said the hotspots, which will connect to up to five devices at a time, will not only help students who need access to the internet to complete their studies but also those wanting to have the internet wherever they may go.

“You can access the internet from your car, home or anywhere with these. There are no data ports to connect to and there’s no internet subscription needed to use them,” said Moreland, adding the program is fully funded for next year. “Not only can up to five devices be connected at a time but also there’s unlimited internet service so you won’t see a slow down in connection after a certain amount of use.”

Moreland said hotspots, which will be available for checkout at the adult circulation desk upstairs, can only be checked out by patrons 18 and over who have a valid Washington Carnegie Public Library card.

“These can be checked out for a week at a time,” she said, adding the hotspots do not have parental controls. “They can be renewed one time if we don’t have any holds.”

Those needing to return the devices should bring them back to the adult services desk rather than placing them in the book drop. A $25 fine will be assessed for improper returns. Overdue fines of $2 per day also apply if the devices are not back on the due date.

“Hotspots not returned by the due date will be deactivated within 24 hours of the due date,” said Moreland, adding cardholders will also be responsible for any damages or lost devices. “We are really excited to be able to offer these to our patrons as a rural library.”

For more information on the hotspot program or other programs offered at the Washington Carnegie Public Library call 812-254-4586 or visit washingtonpubliclibrary.org.

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