Maricopa County Library District (MCLD) is expanding its Wi-Fi hotspot and Chromebook lending program to all 18 of its libraries – a service that had previously been available at just four of its branches.
Thanks to CARES Act funding provided by The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, MCLD is able to expand its Connected @ Your Libraryproject by introducing “Hotspots To-Go” and “Chromebooks To-Go” throughout the county.
Starting on Monday, Feb. 22, 260 Chromebooks and hotspots will circulate throughout the County Library system. To check out a “Hotspot To-Go” or a “Chromebook To-Go,” residents must have an MCLD library card, which is free to all Maricopa County residents and property owners. Cardholders can put in a request for the devices online at mcldaz.org, by calling 602-652-3000 or by visiting their nearest MCLD library. The devices can be checked out for up to three weeks, with the option to renew. More details can be found at mcldaz.org/about/connect.
“The impact of the digital divide in our communities is more apparent than ever before,” said Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers, District 1. “Connected @ Your Library adds to the county’s efforts to build infrastructure for technology and information access in our community.”
MCLD’s first Chromebook and Wi-Fi hotspot lending program was launched in June 2019 at the Gila Bend Library, thanks to an American Dream Literacy Initiative grant from the American Library Association. In October 2020, the district expanded this program to the El Mirage, Fairway and Guadalupe Libraries.
“The success of the initial Connected @ Your Library projects has laid the foundation for our libraries to expand the program into more communities,” said MCLD Director and County Librarian Jeremy Reeder. “We are excited to launch this project at a time when our communities need to be connected more than ever before.”
The public W-Fi signal also continues to be available outside the majority of MCLD libraries every day from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. To use the signal, it is recommended to either stay in your vehicle in the library parking lot or find a place to sit outside where physical distancing is possible.