mobile beacon

Library Technology, 2017 Year in Review

Person looking at a calendar through a magnifying glass

For better or worse, 2017 was definitely a year to remember. This past year gave us new political realities and the need for libraries to repair budgets and memory holes. It also gave us a promise of simpler e-book lending, widespread Wi-Fi hotspot lending, and maker programs. We think public libraries met the challenges of this past year admirably. Here is a glance back at 2017 through the lens of library technology.

How and Why Oakland Public Library Is Loaning Out Hotspots

Free Hot Spot banners

Over 500 libraries have now requested Mobile Beacon hotspot product donations through TechSoup. After the Oakland Public Library placed a big donation request, we thought we'd call them to find out how it's going with their hotspot lending program. Here's what we found out.

Your Library's Guide to Hardware from TechSoup

TechSoup's hardware selection is growing! Check out this list of programs, partners, and special hardware offers to help you find all the equipment you need to maximize your library's public access computers and technology services.

Get Connected with Mobile Beacon Hotspots

Mobile Beacon hotspot

Mobile Beacon Returns to TechSoup with 4G LTE Mobile Hotspots

Mobile Beacon logo

This blog originally appeared on the TechSoup blog. Libraries can use Mobile Beacon hotspots to connect bookmobiles, start a home broadband program, or sign people up for services at events. For more about libraries increasing home broadband adoption, read about a few mobile hotspot lending programs across the country. 

Broadband Internet service for 10 people for $10 a month. Sound good? It's returning to TechSoup after several months' absence. We're talking about Mobile Beacon, of course, provider of wireless broadband service to nonprofits and public libraries.

R850 hotspot

What Mobile Beacon is actually donating is a wireless LTE mobile hotspot with each one-year account you sign up for. The mobile hotspot can connect up to 10 computers, tablets, smartphones, and other devices at a time. To get one, you'll need to pay in advance for a year of service at Mobile Beacon's regular price of $120. This is fourth-generation (4G) LTE broadband service, with download speeds that average 6 to 8 megabits per second and can reach peak speeds of 25 megabits per second. Your devices need to be Wi-Fi-enabled to connect to the hotspot.

Mobile Beacon and the NYPL: Loaning Out the Internet to Thousands of New Yorkers

We just found out that TechSoup donor partner Mobile Beacon was chosen by the New York Public Library (NYPL) to provide 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspot devices as part of the library's mobile hotspot lending program.

Last summer we covered the big library tech news that mobile hotspot lending is finally getting national press. Libraries across the country have been lending out free Internet access for home use for some time now, but the trend got national attention when the New York and Chicago Public Libraries launched large-scale hotspot lending.

NYPL's program was so successful that the library has massively expanded the program.

E-Rate for the 21st Century: More Funding for Library Wi-Fi

The Digital DivideFor the last 17 years, the E-rate program has helped provide schools and libraries across the U.S. with subsidized Internet service.

With almost one-third of Americans still not connected to the Internet, there has been consistent demand for increased E-rate funding. For example, TechSoup's donor partner, Mobile Beacon, has an infographic on its homepage showing that nearly 50 percent of U.S. libraries still lack sufficient Internet access to meet their patrons' needs.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) responded this July with an E-rate modernization plan to increase funding to libraries and schools for high-capacity Wi-Fi and broadband.

Attending Any Conferences This Year? Travel Tech Can Help You Stay Organized on the Road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heading to ALA Midwinter in a few weeks? Having the right tech can help you stay connected even when you're away from the library.

Loaning Out Internet Access at the Providence Community Library

Libraries offering free Internet access is nothing new. But the Providence Community Library (RI) is taking an innovative leap by allowing patrons to literally check out free home Internet access for a week.

How does Providence do it? They loan out Mobile Beacon hotspot devices.

Product Demo Video: Mobile Beacon

Does your library have a slow Internet connection or bandwidth constraints? Would you like to "loan out the Internet" to patrons via mobile hotspots, just like Providence Community Library (RI) and Salado Public Library (TX)? Maybe you want to take training out of the building, like the Poudre River Public Library District's Tech-a-la-Carte program, but you're not sure how to make it happen. With a couple of laptops (or tablets) and a mobile broadband device (like Mobile Beacon), you can take your technology almost anywhere.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.