Library offers Wi-Fi hotspots for check-out

Published 6:26 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Beaufort-Hyde-Martin Regional Library members now have another option when it comes to internet access: they can now take it home with them.

In July, BHM rolled a new program in which patrons can check out wireless hotspots much like they would check out a book. The pocket-sized devices allow nearby computers and smartphones to log onto the internet from virtually anywhere.

It’s a resource that BHM director Hannah Easley said is intended to give people more access to the internet, outside of BHM’s 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule. Those who check out one of four BHM hotspots are able to keep it for three weeks.

“They just need to have a BHM Library card and it needs to be an adult patron. Any BHM patron over the age of 18 can check one out,” Easley said.

According to a press release from the library, the wireless hotspots are the newest addition to a growing number of library resources designed to be used at home. The library offers a large selection of eBooks and eAudiobooks that can be downloaded to a tablet or eReader. With Comics Plus, anyone can view bestselling comics and graphic novels for kids, teens and adults, and new issues of top magazines are also available through the free Zinio app that users can access with a library card, the release stated.

Easley said so far one patron has taken advantage of the hotspot on loan, but she believes that will change with time.

“I think once the word gets out, we’re going to have a pretty big response,” Easley said.

Library employees tested the hotspots in various locations and found they had great reception in Washington, but outside city limits, service might be a little spottier, Easley said.

“They are Sprint devices, so they won’t work everywhere,” Easley said. “They’re good in Washington, but if you get out into the county, they might not work.”

She said the library will be working toward more extensive coverage.

“We’re really excited to be able to offer these,” Easley said. “We hope they’re going to be a really helpful resource for our community.”

Visit to learn more.