Lincoln Library is offering 108 new internet hotspots for circulation. The library began offering this service in 2017, but has recently received a $24,000 Digital Inclusion grant from the Illinois Secretary of State in order to refresh the collection, which has dwindled to just 9 working devices. 108 hotspots, each with one year of data, have been purchased through AT&T. 27 will be reserved for patrons who live in Springfield zip codes that have the least access to home internet. Hotspots will begin circulating August 1st.
As more health, employment, educational, and community building platforms move online or to mobile apps, internet access is key to the wellbeing of our community, says Lincoln Library Director Summer Beck-Griffith, Libraries are about providing access to those resources, so whether you need more mobile speed for gaming or internet service for a job interview, you can get it from Lincoln Library.
This initiative is part of an ongoing technology update at the Lincoln Library, including new public computers and updated internet infrastructure in the building. Presently, Lincoln Library often has 10 to 15 people on the waiting list for the existing hotspots. The 108 hotspots will be cleaned and rotated out upon each use.
Lack of reliable internet access remains an important equity issue across Springfield. According to the City of Springfields most recent data, of 50,952 households in the city, 5,641 households (11.0%) are without any type of access to the internet and 5,075 households (10.0%) have a cellular data plan with no other type of internet subscription.