Alexandria, LA, June 24, 2020. As Rapides Parish Library continues to work toward bridging the digital divide and meeting the changing needs of our community, patrons will be able to checkout laptops and hotspots beginning June 29, 2020. The laptops and hotspots will be available on a first come, first served basis. Borrowers may utilize the devices for up to seven days. Upon return, they must wait seven days to check a laptop or hotspot out again to insure that the greatest number of individuals have access to the devices.
Access to the Internet has become an essential need in our lives. Whether you would like to apply for a job, complete your taxes, or study, access to technology may be the difference between success and failure. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that from 2014-2018 16% of Rapides Parish households did not own a computer and 24.2% did not have access to Internet.
In light of these estimates, RPL has added several services to improve Internet accessibility in Rapides Parish. Internet on the Go is one such program in which the Library’s Outreach department travels to various areas of the parish to provide hotspot WiFi connections to those who cannot visit the Library. The schedule for Internet on the Go can be obtained on the RPL website or by calling any location. Additionally the Library’s IT department has improved the strength and radius of Wi-Fi signals at each branch to increase connectivity not only inside of the building but to its exterior as well.
The Rapides Parish Library staff and administration are committed to increasing accessibility to technology and helping build a better, brighter tomorrow for all residents of our parish.