TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The Tyler Public Library is helping bridge the digital divide by offering access to modern technology to city residents who normally have restricted access.
Through a partnership with T-Mobile, Tyler Public Library will offer Android tablets and WiFi hot spots for checkout by anyone 16 years and older who has had a library card for at least six months and is in good standing. The hot spots may be checked out for up to two weeks and can provide unlimited WiFi access to multiple devices at one time, according to the city,
The tablets may be checked out for up to two weeks and provides internet access and access to all of the library’s digital resources while also having the ability to act as a hot spot.
“We have Overdrive, the Libby app, a link to our digital resources on our web page,” said Ashley Taylor, city librarian.
“You can use those to power whatever you need to power to gain access to the internet or any research information.. smart TVs, Netflix, if you wanna stream Netflix, you can do that with these devices as well."
According to the United States Census, an estimated 22.4 percent of City residents do not have internet access within their homes and 12.5 percent do not have a computer.
“The idea behind these devices was to help bridge the digital divide within Tyler and the Smith County area,” Taylor said. “Children will have access to internet at home so they can complete those [homework assignments] at home, and just be able to gain the same access as those who already have the same capabilities in their own home.”
Library patrons wishing to checkout one of these devices must first place the item on hold so that library staff can ensure the device is ready and available for the patron. Once the device is available, library staff will notify the patron via phone or email.
“The checkout time is for two weeks, and you can renew one time. After that, we ask that you bring it in,” Taylor explained. “The device will deactivate once its past due, but you can call us up and have it renewed, or renew it through your online account."
For more information on this and other Library services, call (903) 593-7323, check the website at www.TylerLibrary.com or follow the Library on Facebook.