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Hotspots available at library

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A few months after receiving new Wi-Fi hotspots for patrons, the Schuyler Public Library is trying to spread word of the new technology available.

Purchased using Federal Communications Commission grant funds, library users can check out a hotspot for a two-week period – the check-out period cannot be renewed. The 10 devices are for school and work purposes.

“We'll have them read through the guidelines and sign off on them,” Schuyler Public Library Director Jenny White said. “I do have to stipulate that you have to be an established library user. You have to have at least six months of use on your library card before we're going to check it out to you and it has to be an adult library card.”

The devices can be used like typical hotspots. A patron turns on the hotspot and then with their other electronic device – such as a laptop or iPad – and selects the hotspot from the list of available Wi-Fi connections.

Currently, there are computers available at the library and people can access the building’s Wi-Fi, both inside or outside of the building. But, White said, the hotspots will allow patrons to have access to internet outside of library hours without having to sit inside their car in the parking lot.

There are multiple reasons why people can benefit from the devices, she added.

“I know that the students here in Schuyler are issued devices through their school but they might not have Wi-Fi at home. So hopefully this will help with that,” White said.

Also, people can use the hotspots if going on vacation – such as a road trip – without internet access.

“If you have a Zoom job interview scheduled for time you know that the libraries isn't open, you could use the Wi-Fi hotspot to have a Zoom call at your own place,” White added.

In other library news, the facility is looking for community displays for some new cabinets there.

“Anyone with an interesting collection or artwork or crafts can contact us and we will get there stuff in the library for folks to see,” White said in an email.

Looking ahead to 2022, White said that World Read Aloud Day will be held Wednesday, Feb. 2. The event was started by nonprofit LitWorld whose mission is promote reading, writing and storytelling in young people globally.

“They're promoting the value of story time, having children listen to stories,” White said. “The past couple of years we've been doing it virtually. I'll have guest readers or staff read a story out loud. And then we … post video of that or we do Facebook Live of that so people can participate.”

The next day – Feb. 3 – will be a Harry Potter book night, which starts at 6 p.m. This year’s theme will be “Magical Journey,” White noted. White said she is still planning the activities for that night, but it will be announced on the Schuyler Public Library Facebook page and on the facility’s website, libraries.ne.gov/schuyler.

Hannah Schrodt is the news editor of the Schuyler Sun. Reach her via email at hannah.schrodt@lee.net.

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