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The Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) announced today that it is expanding a pilot program that increases internet access for Milwaukee residents through free hotspots, physical elements allowing up to 10 devices to connect to the library’s Wi-Fi. The library first piloted 50 hotspots at the Mill Road, Mitchell Street, and Washington Park branch libraries.
Thanks to a generous $50,000 donation by Wells Fargo, an additional 75 hotspots will now be available at the Martin Luther King branch library in the Harambee neighborhood. The additional hotspots will provide internet access to 750 devices.
“MPL is honored to receive this grant, and for the opportunity to partner with our friends at Wells Fargo to enrich the lives of residents by increasing digital access outside the physical library,” said Paula Kiely, Library Director. “The mission of MPL is to help residents read, learn and connect, not just to our resources but to each other and the world beyond. Thanks to the generosity of Wells Fargo, the expansion of our hotspot program increases our ability to do that.”
Hotspots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. They cannot be held or reserved, and a checkout can’t be renewed in a 21-day period. If hotspots aren’t returned after 21 days, they are deactivated. Unlike other materials in the MPL system, hotspots must be checked out and returned to the same location. Check out is limited to patrons 18 years of age or older.
“Our library system continues to evolve and develop new, invaluable resources for Milwaukee residents,” said Regional Bank President Tony Nguyen. “Wells Fargo is proud to support this digital advancement to expand the library’s reach and extend internet access for the Harambee neighborhood.”