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  • 1.  Hotspot and Computer lending to Homework Clubs

    Posted Feb 20, 2020 01:44 PM
    Greetings Digital Literacy hive mind!

    I am posting this query on behalf of Courtney Mellor, please reach out directly to her if you can help in any way!


    My name is Courtney Mellor and I'm a Teen Services Librarian at the Ottawa Public Library. 

    I'm wondering from your expertise, if you know of any library systems that are lending Mobile Wi-fi and Chromebooks to Homework Clubs to help build digital literacy gaps. I'm in the process of  developing an outreach plan for lending hotspots to students through the network of homework clubs that support low income youth across the City of Ottawa. This will serve the original intent of the project to reach students that are part of the digital divide and lack home internet access.

    Thank you for any help you can provide connecting me to other library systems that are already doing this.

    Courtney Mellor

    Teen Services Librarian/bibliothécaire, Services aux ados

    Succursale Carlingwood Branch

    281, avenue Woodroffe Avenue, Ottawa, On K2A 3W4

    Ottawa Public Library/Bibliothèque publique d'Ottawa

    tel./tél.:613-580-2424, ext./poste 32033


    Leighann Wood, MSLIS
    Program Manager
    Public Library Association (PLA)

  • 2.  RE: Hotspot and Computer lending to Homework Clubs

    Posted Feb 21, 2020 10:47 AM

    Our District has just started lending HotSpots.  They have not caught on quite yet, but the program is new.  One thing we have required, that is different than what you are proposing, is that they may only be checked out by adults 18 +.  Between the hotspot itself and all the associated materials (charging cords, connector cords, etc.), replacement cost for one if it is not returned is about $125.  Legally, we cannot charge that kind of fine/fee to a child in the US, so we are restricting access to the parents or other adults.  I don't know if this would be a consideration in Canada, but take it into consideration.

    Also, investigate "remote kill" capabilities for any technology you lend.  Other libraries in our area have had similar tech lending programs, and they all have included settings built in that allow them to shut down the tech and make it unusable if it is not returned in a timely fashion.  Our hotspots have a $5/day overdue charge, and after 3 days overdue they are shut down, giving the patron a small, lightweight, REALLY EXPENSIVE paperweight.  Other libraries in our area have done the same with Chromebooks and tablets.

    Good luck!

    Donna Forbis
    Marketing & Events Coordinator
    Illinois Prairie District Public Library
    Metamora, IL