Starting in early December, library card holders will be able to borrow a Wi-Fi Hotspot from the Silver City Public Library, as part of a 60-day pilot program organized by the New Mexico State Library in collaboration with T-Mobile. During the program, several public libraries in New Mexico will lend Wi-Fi Hotspots to community members. “It’s a great chance to provide your community with an opportunity to obtain more connectivity through the means of mobile hotspots,” said Patricia Moore, technology consultant at the New Mexico State Library.
“The Silver City Public Library is very excited to be part of the pilot, to learn how well this technology works in our area,” said Lillian Galloway, programming and outreach librarian. “We want to enhance everyone’s ability to connect, now and in the future. This program also complements our existing technology training program.” Adults with a library card in good standing will be able to borrow the devices for free.
The Pew Research Center reports that 13% of Americans do not use the internet at all. Among Americans living in rural areas like ours, 39% lack access to high speed internet that meets the standard of 25Mbps download / 3Mbps upload speed, according to the Federal Communications Commission’s 2016 Broadband Progress Report. Meanwhile, libraries are the sole provider of free public computers and internet access in two thirds of American communities, as reported in a survey by the Information Policy and Access Center. Libraries in New York and Chicago began lending mobile internet hotspots in 2014. Grant funding opportunities and partnerships with tech and telecommunications companies have enabled hotspot lending to spread to more libraries nationwide.
The Silver City Public Library is located at 515 W. College Avenue, at the corner of College and Cooper Street in Silver City. Their hours are Monday-Thursday, 9:00am-6:00pm; Friday, 10:00am-5:00pm, and Saturday, 10:00am-2:00pm. For more information, contact the library at 575-538-3672 or firstname.lastname@example.org.