Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) is lending out 100 mobile hot spots to community members in the most rural areas of the County in an effort to get them connected to Internet.
The Kajeet devices, powered by Verizon, were awarded to CCPL through a grant aimed at expanding digital network access, the purchase of internet accessible devices and providing technical support services. This project is made possible in part by a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the South Carolina State Library.
The hotspots will be dedicated specifically for patrons using the following branches:
- St. Paul’s/Hollywood Library, 5130 Hwy. 165 in Hollywood, 843-889-3300, Available Sept. 8
- Edisto Island Library, 1589 Hwy. 174 on Edisto Island, 843-869-2355, Availability date coming soon
- McClellanville Library, 222 Baker Street in McClellanville, 843-887-3699, Availability date coming soon
“Many members of our community lack access to broadband Internet or devices, putting them at a disadvantage. Libraries are built upon accessibility, so it is our job to narrow the gap in the digital divide that exists in our community” said CCPL Executive Director Angela Craig. “While we know 100 additional devices are not enough, we believe it’s a step in the right direction and we are committed to further efforts in narrowing that gap.”
The grant also included computer devices. Those are expected to be available for lending in early 2021.
CCPL began lending mobile hot spots in 2019 after receiving a grant from the K-12 School Technology Initiative, administered by the South Carolina State Library. The grant allowed the library to purchase its first 121 devices, powered by Sprint, which are available for borrowing. Since their launch in March 2019, the hot spots have been checked out more than 1,300 times.
All hot spots may be checked out by adult library cardholders for a period of four weeks (28 days) and are not renewable. The 90 Kajeet hot spot devices are available for pickup at the following locations St. Paul’s/Hollywood, McClellanville and Edisto. To check out a hot spot, adult patrons must have a CCPL library card and sign an Internet Acceptable Use Agreement form at a CCPL branch (if they haven’t done so already) before or when checking out the device.
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