Gunnison Library adds
By Anita Lyons
GUNNISON—The Gunnison City Library has stepped further into the technology world by acquiring mobile hotspots and iPads for patrons to check out.
The devices are intended to assist those in the community who don’t have access to Wi-Fi. The hotspots will help people do research, online business and emails, and students can use them for homework.
Though excited to offer this new service, librarian Carolyn Childs noted that it comes with stricter rules. To check out a mobile hotspot, patrons must have a library card, be over 18 years of age and show a driver’s license.
“We want parents to come in with kids so they know what is going on,” she explained.
A hotspot is a place where people can wirelessly connect their phone or computer to the internet. A mobile, or portable, hotspot can be carried to different places to allow devices to connect.
The items were purchased with funds allocated through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), which gave forgivable loan funding to states across the country to be given to municipalities for pandemic-related spending.
Patrons also need to read and sign the hotspot policy/iPad agreement found on the library section of the Gunnison City website. The document essentially says, “If you lose it, you owe us and have to pay for it.”
The checkout can’t be renewed and is two weeks long. If the hotspot hasn’t been returned by the due date, Childs said she would shut it off, which she has the ability to do remotely. If another hotspot is available the day someone returns one, they can check it out.
Childs said the hotspots will not perform all functions.
“It won’t work if you try to play Fortnite or watch a movie on Netflix,” she said. The connection only offers one gigabyte of broadband access per day, and it gets sluggish with high-demand tasks.
The hotspots have been “in and out” a few times, and everything’s gone well so far, Childs said. Librarians are still deciding whether an iPad and hotspot will be allowed to be checked out to the same person in the future.