For immediate release:
EDMONTON, AB, July 20, 2016 – Edmontonians with limited or no access to the Internet can now add the World Wide Web to a growing list of items they can check out of the library.
The Edmonton Public Library (EPL) will begin loaning Wi-Fi hotspots with unlimited data to adult library cardholders on July 20, 2016 as part of a two-year pilot program. A total of 40 Wi-Fi hotspots will enable customers to access the Internet wherever they take the device.
“We know many Edmontonians don’t have home Internet access, and EPL is committed to providing people the skills and support they need to participate in the digital world,” said Pilar Martinez, EPL’s Chief Executive Officer. “This innovative program will provide a key tool for access to learning and information to those who need it most.”
The service is targeted at the more than 116,000 Edmontonians who are without home Internet access.
EPL customers logged nearly 1.4 million public Internet hours through branch computers and Wi-Fi in 2015, a 14 per cent increase from 2014.
Customers can place the Wi-Fi hotspots on hold, and borrow the devices for up to three weeks. Similar lending programs are in place at several other North American libraries, including Kitchener, Toronto, Seattle and New York.
When checking out a Wi-Fi hotspot, customers will receive a demonstration on how to use it. They will also receive an information brochure outlining connection and troubleshooting instructions, as well as borrowing details. Customers also have access to EPL staff who provide training in using digital devices and accessing digital resources.
EPL has a service contract with Rogers for the two-year pilot program, with Rogers donating the devices to EPL.
For more information, visit epl.ca/hotspots.
About the Edmonton Public Library
The Edmonton Public Library (EPL) is proud to be 2014 Library of the Year! We’ve come a long way since 1913 when books were all you could find on our shelves… and we’re just getting started! Today, EPL carries everything you care about. We are Edmonton’s largest lender of all manner of information and entertainment. Our professionally trained staff take you beyond Google with the knowledge, discernment and desire to help you navigate a universe of information. The second most visited place in Edmonton, every year EPL hosts over 14 million in-branch and online visits across our 20 branches and website. We deliver our incredible content to you everywhere – in the library, at home or on your handheld device. Unmatched access and unrivalled value – that is today’s EPL. EPL is a registered charity and relies on donations to enhance services. Spread the words. www.epl.ca/give
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