Oak Park, IL—Oak Park Public Library cardholders now have one more thing they can check out and take home from the library: mobile Internet access. 

Under the new LiFi program, 10 CLEAR Spot Voyager mobile hotspots are now available for checkout at Main Library, Dole Branch Library and Maze Branch Library. Customers who lack Internet access, or those who want to access free Internet service on the go on their mobile devices, can check out these pocket-size WiFi hotspots for up to three weeks at a time. 

“Adding mobile hotspots to our collection enables users to access the library’s growing digital resources and services, wherever they are,” said Oak Park Public Library Executive Director David J. Seleb. “It also is a first step toward investigating ways to close the digital divide in Oak Park,” he added. 

With this addition, the Oak Park Public Library joins just a few other area public libraries, including the Forest Park Public Library and the Chicago Public Library, in providing mobile hotspots for checkout.

Cardholders age 12 and older in good standing can check out the devices from the customer service desks at all three library buildings. The 4G devices will connect WiFi-enabled smartphones, tablets and laptops to the Internet from any location within the 4G CLEAR coverage area. One hotspot can connect up to eight WiFi-enabled devices to the Internet at a time. 

The LiFi program is part of the library’s growing tech-focused collection, which includes laptops for onsite use at all three library buildings and self-playing digital audiobooks called Playaways. 

While launching with 10 devices, the library plans to closely monitor use to determine if and when to add more devices to the collection. 

Cardholders who check out a LiFi device will receive a container that holds a mobile hotspot, a power cord and adaptor, and an instruction card. Once fully charged, a hotspot will provide about six hours of on-the-go wireless Internet service.

Only one hotspot per household may be checked out at a time, and the overdue fine is $2 per day. Devices must be returned to the location where they were checked out. Cardholders who lose or damage the devices will be charged the actual cost of the device: $100 for the hotspot and $10 for the power cord and adaptor. 

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