The Woodville Public Library now has two Wi-Fi hotspots available for checkout. Submitted photo
The Woodville Public Library now has two Wi-Fi hotspots available for checkout. Submitted photo

Submitted by Karen Furo-Bonnstetter, Woodville Library Director

WOODVILLE, WI – St. Croix County government and public libraries have partnered to make mobile Wi-Fi hotspots now available for checkout from all St. Croix County libraries, including the Woodville Public Library. A Wi-Fi hotspot is a device that allows you to connect your mobile-enabled devices (like laptops, smartphones or tablets) to the Internet. The hotspot is portable, so you can connect your device almost anywhere.

On October 15, 2018 the St. Croix County Administration Committee of the County Board approved funding for two Wi-Fi hotspots for each of the eleven public libraries in St. Croix County. The funding also covers two years of service with T-Mobile as the preferred provider. Based on a recommendation from the County Library Planning Committee, the Administration Committee unanimously approved the use of discretionary funds to promote and support the eleven public libraries within St. Croix County.

“This is an excellent way to support our libraries in a way that benefits each library effectively and equally,” says Roy Sjoberg, St. Croix County Board supervisor and Administration Committee Vice Chair, “We are responding to one of our responsibilities, to ensure accessible library services to residents throughout the county.”

Public libraries are in the forefront of providing equal access to information. Access to broadband is one of three areas of focus for Wisconsin’s public libraries: broadband access, literacy, and job development.

The Woodville library will have a T-Mobile Hotspot and a Verizon Hotspot available to be loaned out for a 2-week period.  The library opted to go with 2 different providers because depending on your location in Woodville one may have better service than the other.  If you have T-Mobile service with your phone the T-Mobile hotspot will work in your home.  If Verizon works well at your location than you would want to use it.

Those interested in borrowing the hotspots must have a library card, agree to the terms of the borrowing agreement and be 18 years of age.  Several area libraries have been loaning out hotspots and the program has been highly successful.  There is usually a waiting list for use of these devices.  The library is hoping this will give access to the Internet to those who need it but find it cost prohibitive to have at home.