“(The) response far exceeded our expectations, and we are thankful,” Jill Joplin, the executive director for the foundation said in a news release.
The county’s library system highlighted internet access as a critical need for its residents amid the pandemic. According to U.S. Census data, about 17% of DeKalb residents do not have home internet. A poll conducted by the library system also found that 50% of people who checked out hot spots in the past said they get their primary internet access from one of DeKalb’s 23 public libraries.
Anyone with a library card can take a hot spot home for a three-week period through the initiative. The county currently has 200 hot spots available through the program and averages 187 check-outs a month. Hot spots are able to provide access to Wi-Fi by using cellphone towers.
Currently, the libraries only offer contact-free pickup services, but residents can access free Wi-Fi at every library parking lot.
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