The local public library is getting closer to installing new technology to allow area citizens to rent access to the internet.
The Jacksonville Public Library announced several weeks ago that it was in the process of purchasing ten mobile WiFi hotspots, and now that process is nearing its completion. Once these new mobine WiFi hotspots are installed, anyone with a library card will be able to check out a device from the public library that would allow them to have access to the internet from their own homes.
Director of the Jacksonville Public Library Chris Ashmore joined WLDS’ AM Conversation last week to talk about a number of topics pertaining to the library, including the ten new mobile hotspots. As for when those new WiFi hotspots will be available to the public, Ashmore says it’s not far away.
“Those are coming up real soon, I would say probably in the next couple weeks for sure that we’ve received ten WiFi hotspots, which is just a little unit that a person can check out and take home with them for three weeks, just like a book, we’ve decided on three weeks, plug it in and they can have the internet. If they don’t have internet access at home, this will give them internet for no charge, but they have to have their own device, tablet, laptop, PC, whatever. We have them, they will be cataloged soon, there’s a few circulation policies we still have to decide on, then we will have them ready in a couple of weeks,” says Ashmore.
Ashmore explains that the process of checking out these new WiFi hotspots is not that different from checking out a book. He goes over the process and talks about the advantages of being able to offer internet access.
“It’s information. It’s a way to get information. There are many ways to get information, so you’re taking it home with you. It’s pretty new and I’m pretty proud to be a library of our size getting into this already when it’s typically only in bigger libraries. We have no concept of how popular these are going to be, but I know it’s needed, because I think it’s 30 percent of households do not have internet at home. We don’t want to run into a thing where one person is constantly checking one out, so there will be rules and things we have to tweak if there is a demand or waiting list, things like that,” Ashmore says.
For more information on the upcoming WiFi hotspots, or any other activities taking place at the library, listen to our full interview with Ashmore online at WLDS or WEAI.com.