The Libraries of Stevens County started in January loaning out Verizon MiFi Jetpacks and laptops. The devices and service were made possible by CARES grants from Stevens County and the Washington State Library to provide internet and technology access in areas with limited resources and connectivity.
There are 50 MiFi Jetpacks from Verizon, with an additional 20 AT&T devices coming soon. Jetpacks provide a cellular internet connection from any location with a cellular signal. They can provide connectivity for up to eight devices at once. Each Jetpack comes with a hard shell case, charging cord, and instruction guide; the network and password shows on the screen. Patrons have up to 28 days to test out the device before it needs to be returned. If the device’s due date has passed, the device will have service shut off until it is returned to the library.
“These Jetpacks will give our county residents the chance to test out a device with a cellular connection, especially those who live in an area with no broadband connectivity near their home. Library cardholders can check out a device, test their mobile connection in their homes, and decide if a Jetpack is an internet option for their household,” said Director Amanda Six. “We want to help close the digital divide and increase tech literacy. These devices help us work towards that goal.”
Eighteen laptops are also available for curbside use at the libraries. The laptops are equipped with Microsoft Office, internet access, printing, and can only be used in library parking lots or outdoor library seating spaces where available. The laptops can be utilized for up to one hour or until fifteen minutes prior to the end of the business day. Library users can print up to ten pages free, courtesy of the Libraries of Stevens County Foundation. Users should always restart the computer prior to returning it to library staff to clear all personal information from the device.
For both the Jetpack device and laptops, you must be a library card holder in good standing and be 18 years of age to check out. Jetpacks may be taken home. Laptops require a signed User Agreement and a photo ID (to exchange during the reservation period) and can only be used on site. A responsible party (parent/guardian) with a library card in good standing may checkout a laptop on behalf of a user under 18. See the Libraries of Stevens County website for more details: TheLOSC.org
As this pandemic is a constantly evolving situation, libraries will continue to adjust and respond quickly. They are excited to offer this new service and continue to take care to provide careful cleaning and disinfection of circulating equipment.
To make a reservation for a laptop, visit DPGazette.com/loscpickup
On this page there are several fields with drop down boxes; they are:
- Schedule Type
- Select in-Library Service
- Select your nearest location
- Service Category
- Laptop – One Hour Use In Library Parking Lot
- Service Type
- Select from the laptops listed
- Schedule Date and Time
- Pick the day and time slot you would like to use the laptop; remember to reserve your time slot at least 4 hours in advance
- Patron Information
- Next are fields for your library card number, name, email address, and phone number. Additionally there is a field for leaving a note for the librarian