The Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) is working to help its community get digitally connected by providing mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, which are now available for checkout. Library cardholders can access one of these hotspots to connect their smartphone, tablet or laptop and get internet access to do homework, apply for jobs, communicate with friends and family, access the library's digital collections and more.
“Given the lack of internet connectivity in many communities throughout Charleston County, some students and individuals are at a disadvantage compared to those who have internet at their constant disposal,” said CCPL Deputy Director Jim McQueen. “Offering these devices continues CCPL’s mission to connect our diverse community with information.”
The hotspots provide free internet access through the Sprint network from nearly any location within the U.S. They come equipped with a built-in filtering tool that screens any sites visited by the user for adult content or malware, allowing for a safe and secure internet browsing experience.
Hotspots may be checked out by cardholders for a period of two weeks, with the option to renew the hotspot if there are no other requests for the item. The devices can be requested by placing a hold in the library’s online catalog. To check out a hotspot, adult patrons must sign an Internet Acceptable Use Agreement form at a CCPL branch if they haven’t done so already, before or when checking out the device. Patrons younger than 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign the Internet Acceptable Use Agreement form before reserving the hotspots.
Funds for the hotspots were made possible by the K-12 School Technology Initiative, administered by the SC State Library.
In addition to the mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, CCPL cardholders have access to other non-traditional items, such as telescopes and digital magnifiers; as well as a variety of digital offerings, such as streaming music and videos, e-books and more.