October 13, 2020
Trails Regional Library is excited to begin the first phase of its Hotspot Lending Program beginning on October 12. Partner agencies will be given wireless internet Hotspots to use in their services as the library pilots the devices and tests their range and effectiveness.
Service agencies in the first phase include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Johnson County, WILS, and Missouri Valley Community Action Agency.
The library was awarded the grant for this program in the amount of $12,348.00 from the Missouri State Library’s CARES Act Grant. The funding is meant to address digital inclusion, broadband availability, and to respond to the challenges of COVID-19 in its communities.
“We are so excited for the opportunity to bridge the digital divide in our communities through this grant program,” said Library Director Tanya Shelton-Council.
Next month, Trails Regional Library plans to introduce 30 more mobile hotspots for circulation to individuals to address COVID-19-related service disruptions and provide access to internet connection in rural areas without library locations.
According to the most recent American Community Survey (2019), within Trails Regional Library’s service areas of Johnson and Lafayette counties:
- 10% of households include people aged 65+ living alone
- 15% of households have no internet access at all
- 10% of households have no kind of computer or internet-connected device
This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.