We’re pleased to announce a new service at Iola Public Library:  circulating Internet hotspots.  The hotspots bring an Internet connection to your home or other location and allow your computers or devices to connect to it via wi-fi.

Funding for the hotspots comes from a Broadband Partnership Adoption Grant through the Kansas Department of Commerce using CARES Act, or federal coronavirus relief, funds.

There are currently five hotspots available to check out. Later this month, an additional ten “smart hotspots” should be available.  T-Mobile/Sprint is the carrier.

The regular hotspots are suitable for those who have smartphones, computers, tablets or other devices with wi-fi capability.  Those who have no computers or other devices can check out the smart hotspots, since besides bringing the Internet connection, they are themselves a device which can be used.

Besides bringing the Internet to households which don’t have access, the hotspots will also benefit the family with multiple people staying at home trying to either attend class or work from home.  Their Internet connection may be suitable for one or two people, but if you have two or three children as well as one or more adults all trying to use the Internet, your service may be inadequate to support that.  The additional connection provided by the hotspot will be valuable.  In addition, the smart hotspots can be of benefit if you have fewer devices than people needing to use them.

The hotspots check out for two weeks to any registered patron in good standing.  They can be renewed multiple times if there are no holds on the device.  Overdue charges will be $1 per day, and Internet service will be turned off for any devices which are a week overdue.

If you check out a hotspot, please keep it in a temperature-controlled environment—for instance, don’t leave it in your vehicle.  And we ask that you don’t return the hotspots in the book drop, but instead bring them inside and return them at the circulation desk in the library.