Library adding hotspots as another way to connect the community

Daviess County Public Library is adding access points to its wide range of public services. DCPL will receive approximately 100 access points as well as several Chromebooks and iPads, thanks to the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF).

ECF is a $ 7.17 billion program that helps schools and libraries provide tools and services to communities to improve e-learning during the pandemic. Eligible customers can complete a survey / application stating that they would not have Internet access without the funding.

“The ECF will help bring relief (nationwide) to millions of students, school staff and library users,” said Brian Lashbrook, director of library technology. “This will help bridge the homework gap for students who currently do not have the necessary Internet access or the devices they need to connect to classrooms.”

DCPL will place around half of the hotspots in “worthy homes”, with 50 still available for rent. Those interested in renting a hotspot must have a library card and be in good standing to take advantage of the program.

A recent census shows that 88.7% of households in Daviess County have a computer, while only 82.7% of households have high-speed Internet access. DCPL Collection Development Manager Alicia Harrington said the need for the internet continues to grow as more and more everyday activities go virtual.

“We are currently loaning about 45 hotspots, and they are still on hold,” Harrington said. “Our customers really need Internet access, and this demand has increased dramatically over the past year.”

Harrington added that the library’s mission has always been to provide a gateway to knowledge and culture by fostering learning opportunities for everyone.

“We want to connect those who need access to the virtual world by equalizing access to the Internet,” she said. “We want to make sure that everyone has access to information – and in our time, that’s mostly through the Internet.

The library will have the hotspots available in the coming weeks. Those interested in applying can download and print the survey from the library’s website or visit the library in person to complete an application.

Direct all your questions about the CFE and Lashbrook hotspots to [email protected] or call 270-684-0211 ext. 262.

About Bradley J. Bridges

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