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Library is working to narrow the digital divide and assist patrons with little to no Internet access by lending free mobile hot spots
CHARLESTON, SC – Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) is lending out 100 mobile hot spots to community members in the most rural areas of the County in an effort to get them connected to Internet.
The Kajeet devices, powered by Verizon, were awarded to CCPL through a grant aimed at expanding digital network access, the purchase of internet accessible devices and providing technical support services. This project is made possible in part by a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the South Carolina State Library.
The hotspots will be dedicated specifically for patrons using the following branches:
“Many members of our community lack access to broadband Internet or devices, putting them at a disadvantage. Libraries are built upon accessibility, so it is our job to narrow the gap in the digital divide that exists in our community” said CCPL Executive Director Angela Craig. “While we know 100 additional devices are not enough, we believe it’s a step in the right direction and we are committed to further efforts in narrowing that gap.”
The grant also included computer devices. Those are expected to be available for lending in early 2021.
CCPL began lending mobile hot spots in 2019 after receiving a grant from the K-12 School Technology Initiative, administered by the South Carolina State Library. The grant allowed the library to purchase its first 121 devices, powered by Sprint, which are available for borrowing. Since their launch in March 2019, the hot spots have been checked out more than 1,300 times.
All hot spots may be checked out by adult library cardholders for a period of four weeks (28 days) and are not renewable. The 90 Kajeet hot spot devices are available for pickup at the following locations St. Paul's/Hollywood, McClellanville and Edisto. To check out a hot spot, adult patrons must have a CCPL library card and sign an Internet Acceptable Use Agreement form at a CCPL branch (if they haven’t done so already) before or when checking out the device.
Charleston County Government and Fetter Health Care Network will continue to offer a fixed COVID-19 testing site at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston 29418. The site will offer drive-thru and walk-up testing options and there will be no prescreening for this testing location. Citizens are asked to wear face coverings, practice safe social distancing, and use the Montague Avenue entrance for testing.
Testing will occur on the following dates:
Currently, all insurance providers in South Carolina are covering the cost of COVID-19 testing. Patient insurance information will be processed, in order to complete testing. No co-pays or deductibles are being charged. All patients will be served regardless of their ability to pay.
About Fetter Health Care Network
Fetter Health Care Network is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) chartered as a 501c3 non-profit in the State of South Carolina in 1975. They provide comprehensive services for insured, uninsured and underserved residents in Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton and Dorchester Counties. Today, Fetter Health Care Network has 24 different sites which includes a mobile dental unit, medical laboratories, and pharmacies.