Libraries can make a significant societal impact by providing internet services to their patrons who otherwise do not have access. Earlier this year, Samantha Schartman-Cycyk and our Executive Director Katherine Messier conducted a research study “Creating Opportunity Through Connectivity”, which reported on Mobile Beacon library customers’ hotspot lending programs and the positive impact that internet access had on the community. Connectivity to mobile, unlimited internet for patrons can provide countless opportunities for personal and professional growth that are inaccessible offline.
Larra Clark, Deputy Director of the American Library Association highlights some key details of our research paper in her recent article for the Benton Foundation. She addresses the impact that libraries have on their communities and the prevalence of hotspot lending programs among our library customers. Clark also speaks to the essential role that public libraries play in digital empowerment for their community members, not just by having a physical location, but by allowing them to bring connectivity home with them.