NEWTON – Sarah Rigby, the director of Newton Library located in the old schoolhouse at 51 Center Street in Newton, said they are one of four libraries in the North Cache Library Consortium (NCLC) which is implementing a new way of checking out books and other materials called the Hotspot Lending Program.
“We decided to start checking them out as soon as we got them the Thursday before Thanksgiving,” she said. “Within two days after making the announcement they were all gone. They are really popular.”
Rigby said the WiFi gadgets can be checked out for two weeks and if no one wants to use them they can be checked out again.
“Our library is in the gym of the old Newton schoolhouse built in 1924,” she said. “It is the smallest library in Utah and has a collection of 19,000 items.”
The hotspots will increase the book possibility for patrons.
Each library in the consortium has purchased 10 mobile hotspots to lend to library patrons. Hotspots may be checked out by adult library patrons (18+) for 2 weeks.
“This is what it looks like,” Rigby said unzipping the case and showing an electronic device the size of a cell phone with a USB cable, adapter and instructions. It has a password and can be checked out or placed on hold, just like a regular book.”
By increasing the availability of high-speed internet, not only in public spaces but throughout the library service areas, they hope to help bridge the technology divide and expand connectivity options to rural communities.
“So far, for the two weeks we have been using the hotspots we have been getting positive feedback,” she said. “The library will be closed until Jan. 1, 2020 while the wood floors are being refinished.”
“NCLC includes the Smithfield, Richmond, Newton & Lewiston city libraries and each library’s devices will benefit their own library patrons,” a release said. “This program has been made possible through a generous grant from the Utah State Library and UEN CARES funding and will be reassessed after 1 year.”
For more information, contact a NCLC library. Smithfield: 435 563-3555 [email protected] Richmond: 435 258-5525 [email protected] Newton: 435 563-9283 [email protected] Lewiston: 435 258-5515 [email protected]