Updated: Feb 14, 2022
One of the library's new WiFi hotspot devices, now available for checkout. Its case and charger may be seen in the background.
(Moulton, AL), (January 27, 2022) - The Lawrence County Public Library has WiFi hotspot devices available for checkout as of Monday, Jan. 24.
These small devices use data from a cellular provider, AT&T or Verizon in this case, to create a so-called hotspot where wireless internet access is possible.
The library has two AT&T and two Verizon devices.
Rex Bain, library director, said, “I’m excited to be able to offer this service.”
The devices are simple to use and to borrow. One device per household can be checked out for seven days by anyone 19 or older who has a library card in good standing. It can be used at home or while traveling, anywhere there is either AT&T or Verizon cellular service, depending on the device.
The hotspot devices were made available by the state library agency, the Alabama Public Library Service (APLS), which apportioned federal funds it received from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) via the Emergency Connectivity Fund to various libraries within the state. APLS earmarked the funds it allocated to Lawrence County Public Library for hotspot devices, said Bain.
While operating the devices is easy once one knows how, the devices will come with instructions. Once a hotspot device is turned on, its screen will display the name of the WiFi network to look for in the WiFi settings of the user’s cell phone, laptop, tablet or other device, as well as the password needed to log in to that network.
Just as with a home router, multiple devices may connect to the hotspot’s WiFi at once, theoretically as many as 250, according to Bain. He cautions too many users at once would result in very slow speeds, however.
If the hotspot device is not returned on time, it will be disabled remotely and will become useless.
Library patrons who check-out a hotspot device will be required to read and sign a waiver each time, acknowledging, among other things, that a replacement fee may be charged if the device is not returned.
If all the hotspot devices are checked out at once, a patron may place a hold on the first one scheduled to be returned and check it out once it is.
If you do not have a library card and want to try a hotspot device, it is easy to get your first card. The first card is free to residents of Lawrence County and anyone who works or attends school in the county. All you need is a photo ID and proof of your current physical mailing address. If you have lost your library card, you can get a replacement for a $2 fee. The library does require new patrons to check-out two books, and return them, before patrons can check-out non-book items. Library cards also allow you to check out e-books as well as physical books.
For more information, contact the LCPL at 256.974.0883. Visit the library online at myLCPL.org.