We live in an age where poor internet access is not simply an inconvenience. Now, thanks to a Washington State Library grant, data hotspots can be checked out from the Spokane County libraries.
How to Check Out a Mobile Hotspot
These mobile hotspots are to help customers who have limited or no internet access available to them. The mobile hotspots will not be available though check out online. You will have to call 509-893-8400 between Monday-Saturday during the current hours of 12-6pm.
People checking out these hotspots will have to meet two main requirements before they will be able to reserve one for their use:
- They will have to be at least 18 years old
- They have to be an in-district library customer. (Those living in the cities of Spokane and Liberty Lake are not eligible.)
If they don’t have any hotspots left, you will be placed on a waitlist and apprised when one becomes available. Once you check out a mobile hotspot, it will start a countdown for 28 days of use, which is not renewable. If the hotspot is not returned, service will be suspended, and the device will become unusable within three days of due date.
What You Will Be Checking Out
The mobile hotspot uses Long-Term Evolution (LTE) which is a 4G wireless broadband standard connection for cell phones, and converts it into Wi-Fi signal so that you can connect your devices to the internet. By checking out a Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack MHS900L, which is pocket-sized, from the library, people will be able to expand their digital network during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each Ellipsis Jetpack will connect up to eight devices such as laptops and tablets to Wi-Fi. There are some areas that even with this hotspot will not get services so the library is recommending you look at the data coverage area map from Verizon at DPGazette.com/verizoncoverage
The Spokane County Libraries have computer stations available for use during open hours; however, due to the shutdown, many people have been without computer or online access. The grant from the Washington State Library that is funding these hotspots will help those in need get internet access. Spokane County Library locations continue to have their wifi turned on, so that even while the building is closed, the community is able to access the internet from outside the building.