Beginning on Monday, February 3, 2020, McAllen Public Library cardholders will be able to access free, unlimited high-speed internet from almost anywhere through the library’s new, innovative Wi-Fi hotspot initiative. City of McAllen residents can connect a tablet, smartphone or laptop computer to the Internet from home, a public space, or wherever free Internet access is not available in the United States and Mexico.
“Mobile hotspot devices help the public meet their information needs in new and exciting way,” explains McAllen Public Library Director Kate Horan. “Access to the Internet and digital literacy are critical to success in school, in seeking employment, in managing personal finances and in pursuit of health and wellness. By loaning out the hotspot, just like a book, the McAllen Public Library will be providing the public with 24/7 access to the Internet.”
In Hidalgo County, more than 11%of the households do not have access to high-speed internet services (FCC, 2016). Nationally, half of non-broadband users today say they do not subscribe to broadband because the cost of a monthly subscription is too expensive, while 31% say the cost of a computer is too expensive (Pew Research Center, 2019). Hidalgo County Libraries already loaning hotspots in Mission, Weslaco and Pharr find hotspot loans particularly popular with families and seasonal residents.
In order to be eligible to participate in this program, McAllen residents must be 17 years or older, have a valid McAllen Public Library card in good standing, and show a recent utility bill (within 90 days) with a physical address from McAllen, Texas.
- Loan Period: 14 days
- Returns: Equipment must be returned to a staff member at the Circulation Desk at the McAllen Public Library, 4001 N. 23rd Street
- Borrowing limit: one per household
- Renewals: Yes, if no one is waiting
- Holds: Allowed
- Late Charges: $1.00 per day
- Lost/Damaged/Replacement Fees: $100, hotspot device; $10, hotspot cord
- Number of devices that can connect at one time to hotspot: five
- Simple instructions and tech support contact information is included with each hotspot.
McAllen Public Library’s Wi-Fi Hotspot-lending program begins Monday, February 3. For more information, please call (956) 681-3000 or visit the library’s website www.mcallenlibrary.net.