We are pleased to announce the launch of a pilot program to bring free, unlimited high-speed internet access to low-income families through the use of WiFi hotspots that can be checked out like a library book. The portable hotspots allow customers without home internet to easily get online using any WiFi enabled device such as a phone, tablet or laptop.
The library has 50 of the devices. 10 WiFi hotspots are available at the Montbello Branch Library, Athmar Park Branch Library, Ross-Barnum Branch Library, Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales Branch Library, and the Hadley Branch Library. Customers at those locations can check out the hotspots for up to three weeks and they can be renewed three times if there are no other customer holds on the device.
“This is a significant step in bridging the digital divide in communities that need it most,” said Denver City Librarian Michelle Jeske. “What we’re offering these communities is access to the world—helping them connect with family and friends, banking and job searches, school resources and entertainment. The library has always been a place to access technology. Now we’re bringing the library to them through this valuable service.”
The program is developed with ConnectHome, a national public-private collaboration developed to bridge the digital divide for families with school-age children who live in HUD-assisted housing. Nationally, only 28 communities were selected for ConnectHome programs which includes affordable broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs and electronic devices. Locally, Denver Housing Authority helps administer the program and is working with the library, the city’s Office of Children’s Affairs and Denver Public Schools to get the word out and also assess its effectiveness.
“We are excited to support the ConnectHome project with this companion program. Based on initial data, we feel the southwest and northeast Denver areas to be of greatest need for affordable broadband internet access and this is one way we can help provide that,” said Zeth Lietzau, director of Central Library, collections, technology and strategy.
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the pilot program is a wonderful program for people like myself that cannot afford high speed internet.
please hold me one. I will pick Friday Aug 19th.2016. Please let me know if you still them available.
All of the hotspots are currently checked out and many others are waiting. Please call 720-865-1111 or any library location and someone will place a hold for you. You will be notified when one becomes available.
This is great, I used to have to drive over to Sheridan Public Library to get one of these, now I can just go to Bear Valley. Thanks guys!
Wow! This is so cool!
Fantastic Program. The only problem which I hope will be corrected is that demand greatly exceeds supply. On 8/26/16 the demand was 300 units with no units available for loan, and considering that each loaned unit will likely be out for up to 3 weeks, it will take a long time to get one.
Thank you for your feedback. The success of the pilot will be a good indicator of how many hotspots we need to fill the demand. We are happy the hotspots have been so popular.
Here's a video about using public wi-fi hotspots and some of the things you can do to help protect yourself https://youtu.be/RODVy_vS-LI
I got on the hold list in Oct for a hotspot. I just checked back today to see where my hold position is and i'm 267 our off 600+ holds?!?! And only 1 hotspot available??? If these are 1 week loans, it will literally take more than 10 years to fulfill the existing holds, and over 5 years before my hold is ready. What happened to the 50 devices stated above?
We realize that there is a wait time of several months to receive a hotspot. We had a limited number of hotspots to kick off the pilot and will be adding more as soon as we can.