Summer is an excellent time for students to relax, play, learn, and recharge before the next school year. However, the long break can also lead to a phenomenon known as the “summer slide,” where students lose some of the academic progress they made during the school year.
Fortunately, libraries nationwide have implemented hotspot lending programs that help students stay connected and engaged while out of school. In this article, we’ll explore how these programs work and how they benefit students.
What Are School & Library Hotspot Lending Programs?
A library hotspot lending program allows patrons to check out mobile hotspots for a set period. Hotspots are small devices that connect to cellular networks and provide Wi-Fi internet access to laptops, tablets, and smartphones. By checking out a hotspot from the library, students can access the internet from anywhere, even if they don’t have a reliable connection at home.
Hotspots for schools are similar to library hotspot lending programs, but are specifically for school students and staff. In these programs, schools provide hotspots to those who don’t have internet access at home. Students can check out the devices and use them to complete homework assignments, research projects, or stay connected with friends and family.
Benefits of Library Hotspot Lending Programs
Library hotspot lending programs offer several benefits to students, particularly during the summer months when school is out of session. Here are a few of the top advantages:
Access to Educational Resources
A hotspot allows students to access learning resources like digital textbooks, online learning platforms, and educational videos from anywhere. This can be beneficial for students who want to learn something new over summer break but don’t have a home internet connection or who live in rural areas with limited access to educational resources.
Connection to Community Resources
Besides educational resources, hotspots also provide access to community resources like job listings and local summer events. This can help students stay engaged with their community and learn about seasonal opportunities they might not have known about otherwise.
Reduced Stress for Parents and Caregivers
A library hotspot lending program can be a lifesaver for parents and caregivers. In addition, by providing internet access to students, these programs can reduce the stress of finding a place with Wi-Fi to keep students engaged over summer break.
Tips for Using Library Hotspots
If you’re considering using a library hotspot lending program over the summer, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your experience:
Before heading to the library for a hotspot, check availability. Some libraries may have a limited number of hotspots or have waitlists during peak times.
Understand the Rules
Each library hotspot lending program will have its own rules and guidelines, so ensure you understand them before checking out a hotspot. This may include information on check-out periods, late fees, and other policies.
Remember that hotspots are valuable resources and should be treated with care. Keep the device in a safe place, avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures or moisture, and follow all guidelines for proper usage.
Finally, if you have feedback on the library hotspot lending program, share it with the library staff. This can help them improve the program and make it even more helpful for patrons.
Library hotspot programs are a great resource for students who want to stay connected and engaged during the summer. By providing access to educational resources, community resources, and support for school-related tasks, these programs can help students stay on track for the next school year. With these tips, you can make the most of this valuable resource and set yourself up for success.