The Tuscarawas County Public Library System has launched its mobile Wi-Fi lending initiative, allowing free internet access to customers beyond the walls of its five Library locations.
“Some area residents simply cannot afford the costs associated with having their own internet service plan,” said Support Services Manager Cara Randall. “This new library service will allow any TCPL cardholder in good standing to check out a Wi-Fi hot spot for up to 14 days.”
The mobile hot spots will allow individuals to connect to the internet from anywhere, anytime with a Wi-Fi device. Each hot spot will come with step-by-step instructions and will allow for internet access for up to 15 gadgets.
“As a library, we are always searching for ways to bridge the digital divide for the community,” said Director Michelle McMorrow Ramsell. “With the pandemic, finding ways to do this has been even more important as people find themselves working and learning from home.”
Ramsell said the Wi-Fi lending initiative has been made possible, in part, because of CARES money granted to public libraries to assist with their COVID-19 response.
The Library will make available 50 hot spots through T-Mobile’s government plan. County Library cardholders interested in using the hot spots must abide by the Library’s Electronic Access & Makerspace policy, as well as be responsible for the costs associated with lost or damaged devices.
The County Library’s five locations have been serving the community throughout the pandemic through digital materials like eBooks and audiobooks, virtual programming, curbside pickup of physical items, contactless library service through the 24/7 lockers and drive-up window at the Main Library, as well as home deliveries provided by the Mobile Services team. The Library has also extended the reach of its Wi-Fi beyond the walls of its five buildings, into adjacent parking spaces for community members who wish to access it 24/7 with their own device.
Most recently, the County Library System has provided mask-wearing customers the opportunity to come into the buildings to browse and select their own materials; use public computers; and to fax, copy, or notarize documents. The Library is preparing tables with barriers to provide a safe space for customers to use for studying, tutoring, or meeting.
For more information about the hot spot lending program or services provided by the library system call your nearest TCPL location: Main 330-364-4474; Bolivar 330-874-2720; Strasburg 330-878-5711; Sugarcreek 330-852-2813; or Tusky 740-922-2748.