WiFi Hotspots Available for Wireless Internet Access

Submitted by San Juan Island Library

San Juan Island Library announced today that it is making available WiFi hotspots. People over the age of 18 can check out a hotspot device for three weeks to receive internet service via a cell tower. The program is free of charge, and is partially supported by a San Juan Island Community Foundation grant. These devices won’t work in locations that can’t receive T-Mobile signals, but islanders should be able to get internet service in many locations, including while traveling.

Providing Wi-Fi hotspots to the community through our lending library makes sense because we are increasingly dependent on internet access for work and recreation. Educational programs, including those available for free through a library account, such as Lynda.com or Learning Express, require internet access. And a new trend is that many independent films are no longer available in physical DVD format and are only available through online streaming.

The experience of other libraries across the country has shown that lending hotspots is popular for libraries like ours. The expansion of the T-Mobile wireless network in conjunction with Rock Island over the last several years means that many locations throughout the island can now get an internet connection, which may have been impossible a few years ago.

The Library also loans a mix of equipment including CD players, a cassette player, DVD players, a Kill A Watt energy usage meter, and electronic devices that detect the presence of bats. People organizing events such as lectures or family reunions are able to check out either a digital projector or slide projector, laptop, screen and other equipment to make presentations at events. The Library also has a unique collection of Aids for Better Living that provide assistive technology such as magnifiers or dressing kits for people with short-term or long-term disabilities. A catalog of the Aids for Better Living is online at http://www.sjlib.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ABL_Catalog_SJIL.pdf or you can check out a print copy to take home and review. Products in this collection are made available to Library users through the Washington Assistive Technology Act Program at the University of Washington.

Library cards are free of charge to islanders with proof of residency. In addition to its collections of materials to loan, the library also provides public access computers and WiFi. Library hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.