A “Hot Spot” is a portable device which gives you Wi-fi signal for internet wherever you are. As long as you can get cellular reception, you can use a hot spot to get access to the internet. Most areas of the county now have US Cellular access and some areas also have Verizon access, and still some areas do not have cell reception at all due to our mountainous terrain.
Believe it or not, everyone in Craig County does not have a smart phone. Families with children may need multiple devices so everyone can attend school from home. Whether that be a smartphone, a tablet, ipad, or a personal computer, a high speed internet connection would be required. Reliable internet is just not available in many parts of Craig County even if you have the devices to use it. And, like it or not, internet is becoming essential in today’s school and business world.
Many people have internet access through their land line which does not depend on the cellular tower to provide access. Still the internet is notoriously slow through the land lines. Higher speed internet is required for some applications to work and for working with photographs and videos. Zoom meetings can be difficult without higher speed internet. Subscriptions for internet cost money and higher speeds cost more.
Because of these challenges, the Library Board decided to purchase two hot spots to be checked out by library patrons. The fees for their subscriptions are paid by the library. This is a new item in the budget, but a highly popular one. We would love to have at least ten hot spots for patrons to check out if we could find funds for that purpose. Each one costs $80 and there is a monthly subscription fee.
Students doing school from home have had hotspots provided by the school, but when these are no longer available, we anticipate a greater need for internet access at home. Otherwise, students must travel to a place like the library or school parking lot where they can receive free high speed internet. Since transportation is necessary for this, then a parent must take the child to such a place. Because our library is so small, we can only allow one patron at a time to enter the building for using the internet, so parents cannot drop kids at the library to use the computers like they used to. Using a portable hot spot can be one solution.
It’ as easy as checking out a book. Anyone with a current library card can check out a hot spot. There is no fee or deposit required. Your borrowed hot spot must be returned in 1 week and the late fees are the same as for movies- a dollar a day. You can call the library if you have any questions at 864-8978.
This is just another way the Craig County Public Library seeks to fulfill its mission of empowering individuals to build a stronger community. Helping students with their education and helping adults to navigate today’s digital world are ways we can contribute to greater prosperity. Creating this ripple effect multiplies your financial gifts and our local tax dollars. Thank you for supporting your library!