The Hillsboro Public Library, through a generous grant from the Library Foundation of Hillsboro (LFH), has 25 new, mobile high-speed internet hotspots available for checkout. These easy-to-use kits will help connect households without cable or satellite-provided services to the internet and will be a boon for library patrons coping with job or wage loss, new or newly-acute social service needs, and/or the demands of at-home work or school schedules.
“We’re really excited to be offering mobile hotspots to our patrons,” Interim Library Director Simone Brooks said. “We’re hoping to help bridge the digital divide with these hotspots by providing free, reliable internet access to people who might otherwise not be able to afford it.”
Of the 25 hotspots, 15 are available at the Shute Park Library and 10 are available at the Brookwood Library. Shute Park Library received more because, according to U.S. Census data, there are more households without internet access in the Shute Park neighborhood.
Like other library materials, the hotspots can be found in the catalog. On the Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) website, search for ‘mobile hotspot’ and place a hold request. When an item becomes available to fill the request, it can be picked up at either the Shute Park or the Brookwood library location (whichever one was specified when placing the hold). The hotspots check out for 14 days.
The first-year investment for these hotspots is $12,000, which also accounts for maintenance. Sustaining the program will entail $10,000 a year going forward.
“We know the challenges many families and individuals face getting safe, reliable internet access in their homes,” LFH Board President Debbie Clarke said. “The Library Foundation of Hillsboro recognized this innovative program as an opportunity to bring more resources to the community through our beloved library.”