Atlanta Library offering mobile hot spots
Thanks to a federal grant, the Atlanta Public Library can now offers patrons access to five wi-fi hotspots that can be checked out with their library card, as simple as checking out a book.
“We were actually looking at the program before and trying to decide would it work or not work,” said library director, Jackie Icenhower. “Then the grant opportunity came up, so we jumped on it.”
According to Icenhower, the hotspots go through the Spread Network, so if an individual has access to the network, the hot spot will work in that area.
It’s kind of trial and error as to how far out of the city limits the hotspots will be effective, but Icenhower said they know that everywhere in the city limits its supposed to work.
“So far, we’ve gotten really good information. It’s actually kind of a research study of the effects of Broadband in rural America,” she said.
When they get checked out, the library supplies the person with a username and password and offer unlimited data. They can be checked out for seven days.
Icenhowser said, “Word got out, and since then they have been checked out, we have a list of people who are waiting. We hope to have 10 more hotspots before Christmas.”
Atlanta Mayor Travis Ransom added, “While we have fiber optics and high speed internet in town, we don’t often have that on the outskirts.”
“When we found out we were getting them, we had at least two adult college students that do not have internet at their homes,” Icenhower said. “One of them had been taking online classes, which meant they had to either come to the library or go somewhere else for hours at a time.”
The library is open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Mondays, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Even after business hours, wi-fi is available. According to Icenhower, people come sit outside or in their vehicle to use the internet.