Lancaster, TX - One of the hottest things going at the Lancaster Veterans Memorial Library these days is, well, mobile hotspots.  A partnership between the city of Lancaster and the Lancaster ISD has netted 30 free mobile hotspot devices for library card holders.

The initiative began in March and has taken off since. The hotspots can be checked out for up to 14 days, and all 30 are currently checked out.

"The mobile hot spot program is a critical piece in fulfillment of the Lancaster Independent School District Village 2020 partnership with thecCity of Lancaster," City Manager Opal Mauldin-Jones said in a statement announcing the program. "When we connect the children, we connect families, one more step in making Lancaster a preferred place to live for young families."

Officials said the initiative is an attempt to address a need they've noticed in Lancaster.1999 Library

“We partnered with the library because we realize many students lack internet,” Lancaster ISD Chief Communications Officer Sonya Cole-Hamilton said.

Because of that, the district has faced challenges in getting students to use its netbooks. “They get home and are unable to use them,” Cole-Hamilton said of the netbooks.

A 2015 Pew Research Report found that 5 million households with school-age children do not have access to high-speed internet at home.

The idea is with the hotspots is that students who otherwise do not have access to high-speed internet will be able to complete assignments.  The hotspots tap into a 3g network and allow up to 11 users to access Internet data anywhere.

Cole-Hamilton said the success of the pilot program means that it will likely grow, giving more students and families the chance to explore the world wide web from home. 

“We see it extending over the next few years,” Hamilton said.

For more information about the program, visit the Lancaster Veterans Memorial Library, 1600 Veterans Memorial Parkway, or call 972-227-1080.

Source: Dallas Morning News