LCPL Hotspots

Check out the internet and take it with you!

Need wifi? You can check it out from the library! Use our hotspot for vacations, business trips, or any time you want to stay connected.

A hotspot is a portable device that generates an internet connection anywhere there's cell phone reception. Take it with you on a hike, to the gym, or to a lunch meeting - it's perfect for business, school work, or simply being social.

Hotspot kit

Hotspots are available to all full-access patrons over the age of 18 in good standing. These are special items that must be checked out from and returned to Merrillville Branch.

Loan period: 10 days, no renewals
Overdue fee: $1/day, max $25
Lost fee: $100

Returning your Hotspot? Make sure you have all the pieces!

Hotspot FAQ

How to Use It

Q: Can I browse the internet on the hotspot itself?

A: The hotspot only provides the connection. You will need a device - such as a computer, phone, or tablet - to access the internet using the hotspot. If you need more help, call the Merrillville Branch; a staff member will be happy to assist you or schedule a one-on-one help session!

 

Q: It's asking for a password?

A: Hotspot connections are password-protected to prevent other people from piggybacking on your connection while you use it (which could slow it down). The password is included with each device - check the the instruction card included in the case or the screen of the hotspot when it's powered on.

Check Out Details (holds, renewals, etc.)

Q: How much does it cost?

A: It is free! You do not need an internet plan of your own, or a cell phone plan. Just remember to return it on time - this item has a $1/day overdue fee and a $100 replacement fee if it is lost or damaged beyond repair.

 

Q: How do I guarantee one will be available when I need it?

A: As soon as you know you'll need it, place a hold on the hotspot. Then suspend the hold until a few days before you'll need it. Suspending your hold allows you to continue to move up the holds list, but stops you when you get to the front of the line until you're ready for the item. Make sure to reactivate your hold a day or two before you need the hotspot! You can view a tutorial on suspending and reactivating holds here.

 

Q: Where do I pick up the hotspot?

A: All hotspots can be picked up at the Circulation Desk of the Merrillville Branch. Please return them there as well!

 

Q: How long can I keep it?

A: You can borrow it for 10 days. Overdue hotspots will be deactivated within 24 hours of their due date.

 

Q: Can I renew it when the 10 days are up?

A: This item is not renewable.

 

Q: I know I'm going to need the hotspot on a certain date. Can I reserve it?

A: You can place a hold on the hotspot as soon as you know when you'll need it, then suspend that hold until a few days before the date so it doesn't come in early. Here is a detailed tutorial on suspending holds.

Technical Concerns (privacy, limits of use, etc.)

Q: How much data can I use?

A: We knew you were going to ask that, so we sprang for the unlimited data plan. Use as much as you like without worrying about deactivation or throttled speeds.

 

Q: Who's the service provider?

A: The library has partnered with Sprint to offer this service; the hotspots connect to Sprint's towers to provide your internet connection.

 

Q: Do the hotspots have content filtering? That is, will certain websites be blocked?

A: Nope. Please browse responsibly!

 

Q: What information about my internet usage is tracked by the library or the service provider?

A: The library does not track anything about your internet usage, including browsing history. Sprint may log the hotspot's physical location, but this data is aggregated and anonymized; the library does not access these logs. Sprint does not log browsing history.

 

Q: Can I use the hotspot internationally?

A: The hotspot will only work within the United States.

 

Q: How many devices can connect to the hotspot?

A: A maximum of 10 devices can be connected at once. Be aware that connecting multiple devices may slow down connection speed. Each hotspot connection is password protected to prevent unwanted devices from connecting.

 

Q: Can I use the library's hotspot to send/receive text messages?

A: Text messaging is not available; however, internet-based messaging services such as Apple's iMessage will work.