Some Fremont Learning Center students can have Internet access with devices checked out through the library.
Tina Walker, executive director of Keene Memorial Library in Fremont, talked about these devices when the library board met on Monday.
The library now has five Verizon Jetpacks and eight Kindle Fire 8 HD (high definition) devices. The devices will be checked out like books to Learning Center students. A Kindle Fire is a tablet.
“If it all goes well, we’ll buy more,” she said.
Walker pointed out the benefit of this project.
“We’re providing Internet access to students (for educational purposes) who wouldn’t otherwise have it,” Walker said.
Last fall, the library partnered with the Fremont Public Schools Learning Center to assist them with education curriculum and materials when applying for a $3,000 Rotary grant.
“We identified that 28 percent of all households in northeast Nebraska do not have Internet,” Walker said.
In talks with Learning Center staff, Walker said she found out that more than 50 percent of students who attend the center don’t have Internet access at home.
“Fremont Public Schools moved to Google Chromebooks, which requires Internet,” Walker said.
A Jetpack is a portable mobile hotspot device that lets the user share a Verizon Wireless network connection with multiple devices.
Walker said the idea for the Jetpack project came from the Norfolk Public Library.