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Inland Northwest Community Foundation Funds Hotspots

Internet access is a necessity for most job searches, careers, school work, and popular entertainment, but nearly a third of local families do not have access to the Internet unless they visit places like the Coeur d’Alene Public Library where they can use computers or the free Wi-Fi.
Through a grant of $10,875 from the Inland Northwest Community Foundation obtained by the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation, the library now offers patrons “Internet to go.”
“This is a significant step in bridging the digital divide in our community,” said Library Director Bette Ammon. “This grant helps us provide access to the world for patrons who need to connect to family and friends, do online banking and job searches, use school resources, and for entertainment.”
Ben Drake, president of the Library Foundation, said that his group is proud of the role they played in obtaining the grant.
“The Library Foundation was involved in fundraising to build the physical library which opened 10 years ago,” he said. “We want to continue to help the library grow by enhancing the resources it offers the community.”
The library has 25 hotspots – portable devices used to create a wireless Internet access point – available to check out to library cardholders. The devices can be checked out for four weeks and can be renewed for an additional four weeks as long as there are no holds placed on them.
These hotspots can be used through the T-Mobile Network even if the user does not have cell phone, landline, or cable television service. Users can access the Internet from any location served by T-Mobile using a laptop, tablet, smart phone, or other wireless-equipped devices. They can also be used in conjunction with Rokus, or similar devices that permit streaming movies or other shows from the Internet. The library also has Rokus available to check out.
The hotspots will be checked out with instructions on how to use the devices and assistance will also be available from the library staff.