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Posted on: February 17, 2021

Maricopa County Library District Expands Technology & Internet Access Opportunities Wi-Fi Hotspots

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PHOENIX, Ariz. – Feb. 16 – 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 Library project 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.  

Five library branches—the Aguila, Gila Bend, El Mirage, Fairway and Guadalupe Libraries—will also offer “Get Connected Kits,” which include both the Chromebook and Hotspot in one pack. These kits are only available to residents with a library card account registered at one of those five branches.

“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 ConnectedYour 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. After-hours Wi-Fi is not available at Sun City and Fairway Libraries due to parking lot restrictions.

For interviews or media appearances, please contact Samantha Mears at (602) 577-3497 or samanthamears@mcldaz.org. High-resolution library images are available for download at mcldaz.org/news.

ABOUT MARICOPA COUNTY LIBRARY DISTRICT:
The Maricopa County Library District (MCLD) is a special taxing district that runs 18 libraries countywide. MCLD’s mission is to provide access and services so residents experience an improved quality of life. Each year, the Library District welcomes up to three million visitors, holds thousands of free events and programs for all ages, and hosts Maricopa County Reads, the award-winning Summer Reading Program. In 2020, the Library District held nearly 6,000 events, including 700 online events, and circulated 7.5 million physical and digital checkouts. For Maricopa County and Town of Queen Creek residents and property owners, a library card is free. For more information, visit https://mcldaz.org.

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