Victoria Public Library adds a mobile hotspot program for residents

The Library now offers remote services thanks to grant funds

VICTORIA, TX – The Victoria Public Library has launched its new mobile hotspot checkout program to assist residents that relied on the library’s internet service.

The hotspot program is one of three new services being funded by a $24,985 grant from the U.S Institute of Museum and Library Services. It was a competitive application process but the library accessibility needs were upgraded due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other proposed projects to meet these needs.

In addition to the new remote services, the library also purchased a new iPad, a tripod, microphones and lighting equipment, which will help provide high-quality Facebook Lives streams to residents who are unable to attend events in person.

Program services lead Katie Talhelm said the hotspots will help the library to better serve residents who rely on the library for internet service. The library has been planning since last year to provide a hotspot checkout program, and the grant funding will allow the library to purchase a total of 10 mobile hotspots for checkout. 

“We have residents who come to the library every day to use the internet, but many more can’t come to the library regularly, or they can’t stay as long as they need to,” Talhelm said. “The digital divide is something we feel very acutely, so we’re pleased that we were able to find another way to help residents access the internet.”  

Nearly after a year after the library suspended in-person events due to COVID-19, the library is transitioning back by introducing hybrid format events with limited attendance.

A new meeting room is also being built; the Library staff is in the process of purchasing furniture and equipment for the meeting room. The renovation is expected to begin in April and finish by the end of the summer.

Funding for the grant is provided through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help communities to provide programs and services that will help residents during the pandemic. 

For more information about Victoria Public Library programs, visit www.victoriatx.gov/library or follow the library on Facebook at Victoria Public Library. To reserve a hotspot, visit the library or call 361-485-3301

Another great new service for Victorian residents that need internet for their day-to-day needs, so be sure to take advantage of the program if you need an internet connection.