Greater Sudbury Public Library is finding new ways to connect people during the pandemic
SUDBURY -- Adding more than just books to its curbside pick up options, the Greater Sudbury Public Library is now offering take-home Wi-Fi devices for people to check out.
“These are really user-friendly, there very easy to use,” said Jennifer Ross, a virtual librarian with the Greater Sudbury Public Library.
Ross said the password for the Wi-Fi is on the display of the device itself.
With 10 devices available, all equipped with unlimited internet, she said the goal is to help keep everyone in the community connected, something that is especially important as the library doors remain closed.
“We have a very high demand for the Wi-Fi within our space and we know within our community and specifically our patrons, not everyone has access to the Internet,” she said. “Specifically with the pandemic now, that need has become even more evident and we’ve noted there are sometimes people sitting outside the library trying to catch the Wi-Fi network on their devices.”
Library cardholders are able to sign out a device for a week at a time.
'We're all in this together'
“We’re all in this together,” said Ward 1 Coun. Mark Signoretti. “Some people don’t have the same advantages as others in the community. So Wi-Fi is very important for everyone to stay connected. Young and old, we all know that Wi-Fi and internet access, a lot of information comes forward on social media, so just to stay connected where they may not be able to stay connected currently will give them that opportunity as well to be connected with the community.”
People also have the option to keep the device longer, if no one else has it reserved. However, Ross said there is already a waitlist.
“So far, feedback has been really great,” she said. “A resident in a long-term care facility borrowed a device so that they could connect with their family. And we have residents -- library cardholders -- that regularly use the Wi-Fi in our space be able to use these devices at home.”
Officials say they’re good enough for everything from emails to video calls to Netflix -- and the internet is free.
“For our library cardholders, this is completely free and currently there are no fines,” said Ross. “But the service is disabled on devices that are overdue. So the library pays for the internet, not the borrowers.”
All devices go through a 24-hour quarantine period after being returned and are picked up completely contactless.
More information can be found on the library website.