In today's society, individuals and households without reliable Internet connections are increasingly at risk of facing significant disadvantages. This article describes an Extension-led pilot project in Oklahoma centered on addressing this issue through the establishment of a hotspot lending program in four rural libraries. Through the program, libraries allow patrons to "check out the Internet" by providing cellular-based hotspots that connect to a user's smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Feedback from librarians and 297 survey respondents suggests that the program is highly popular and is reaching the target audience. Conclusions on barriers faced and suggestions for best practices, including the role Extension can play, are provided.
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Whitacre, B. (2019). Building a Rural Library Hotspot Lending Program: Results from a One-Year Pilot. The Journal of Extension, 57(2), Article 21. https://doi.org/10.34068/joe.57.02.21