Mobile Wi-Fi has become one of the W.T. Bland Library’s most popular offerings
Last November, Mount Dora’s W.T. Bland Library begin offering mobile Internet hot spots to patrons.
Access is provided through a wi-fi enabled device that links to T-Mobile’s LTE network, allowing high-speed Internet service just about anywhere. The mobile hotspots can be checked out for up to three weeks.
We asked circulation manager Doreen Tewksbury how the new program was going.
“We have 10 hotspots and they are in constant demand,” she says. “They are always checked out, patrons have been very pleased with them and say they work great and are easy to use. As of this morning, we have a hold list (people waiting for them) of 32.”
Any surprising challenges?
“Fortunately we have not run into any problems,” Tewksbury says. “We thought there may be an issue with people returning them by the due date, but we’re pleased to say that hasn’t happened at all. We had one patron who works for the Lake County Sheriff’s department who said he and 6 or 7 other people used it at the same time and it worked great. His co-workers didn’t want him to return it! He did, of course, and he put his name back on the list and is currently waiting for one to be available.
Anything you’ve learned?
“We have had all ages check them out – from teens (must be 18) to our older patrons,” she says. “From what we are hearing, most are just using them at home to use their personal devices. We have been pleasantly surprised at the success and have not run into any problems. We are considering expanding the program, just have to find the money to do it! All that being said, I would say it has been a very popular program and quite successful.”
To check one of the devices out, present a Lake County library card in good standing to the circulation desk.
The digital literacy effort is underwritten by the Mount Dora Library Association and the Ross Stores Foundation. Other digital literacy initiatives include e-book lending, computer workstations and a wide range of computer literacy programs.
For more about the library, see our piece from last summer or visit the library website: http://www.lakeline.lib.fl.us/libraries/wt_bland_public_library.aspx
David Cohea, Writer (firstname.lastname@example.org)