Blackwater Library helping patrons to connect through new ‘Mobile Hotspots’
Published 12:02 pm Saturday, November 17, 2018
By Jenny Bakos
As a reader of this paper, you may have noticed all of the exciting goings-on at your local library
We’re no longer a place just for books, but a community center focused on the needs of local citizens. We provide what you’d expect: classic story times for preschoolers, book clubs for teens and adults, access to your favorite author’s newest work; but we also provide what you may not expect: fitness classes for seniors, access to gardening advice via the Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists, and internet access for thousands of individuals across our service area every month. And, of course, we do it all for free.
Internet access is turning into the next great utility, much like electricity in the early 20th century.
Children are being given laptops and tablets in schools to access their new eTextbooks, are told to do research online through vetted databases, and let’s be honest, we all search for a quick coupon on our smartphone while waiting in line at our local department store. But what about the large swaths of our community that can either not afford service, or simply don’t have any internet options where they live? They come to the library.
Limited hours due to several years of hard budget decisions are the reality of public libraries nationwide, and Blackwater is no exception. So to cater to our citizens in need of internet access on their schedule, we leave our wireless internet on at all of our locations 24/7.
There are many days you can drive past the parking lot at 11 p.m. and see someone sitting in their car, face glowing from their iPad, searching through job postings because it is the only time they have available to do so. But in our opinion, it still isn’t enough.
In an effort to begin to combat the connectivity issue in this area, Blackwater is proud to begin offering Mobile Hotspots that utilize the Verizon network for checkout on Monday, Nov. 26. These Hotspots will be available for a two-week checkout period to adult library card holders that are in good standing.
You can connect up to 15 devices to the Hotspot, the data is unlimited and yes, they are absolutely free to checkout.
These are only available by visiting or calling your local Blackwater branch, so stop in today so you can make sure you’re on the list for when the devices are launched. Don’t have a card? Stop in with a current ID and a piece of mail with your current address and we will get you sorted out.
Blackwater Regional Library is proud to have partnered with the Camp Foundation and Paul D. Camp Community College to bring this project to life. Find out more by visiting www.blackwaterlib.org/hotspot.
JENNY BAKOS is the director of the Blackwater Regional Library. Contact her at 653-0298, ext. 303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.