Block Island Times

Helping the island connect

The staff at the Island Free Library, understanding that there was inequality throughout the island in terms of being able to connect to the internet, had placed an order of new “hotspots” in order to even things out.
“We started brainstorming a hotspot program probably close to a year ago,” said Library Director Kristin Baumann. “We wanted to run a pilot program across the island that could potentially inform local decision-makers, residents, and visitors about viable, doable, affordable options for internet connectivity.”
Baumann said the idea to connect island students with hotspots then went into the planning stage back in February.
“We were planning on giving every high school household a hotspot,” said Baumann. “The intention was to spread them out across the island, assist the high school students with their studies, PSAT/SAT prep work, college applications, and job searches. We figured the lower grades would do less online schoolwork and less internet research, so we were targeting the high school students.”
Baumann said that after the school year ended, the plan was to collect them from the students and have them available for local businesses to test during the summer.

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