Informational Alert | Coronavirus Updates
NOTICE: Fall hours for contactless pickup of library holds at Main, Central Square, O’Neill, and Valente are now in effect. No appointments required. Request items online, by phone at 617-349-4040 or by email at library@cambridgema.gov.

Mobile Hotspots now Available for Checkout


8/31/2020

Aerial View of the Central Square Branch Library

CAMBRIDGE, MA, August 31, 2020 – – Cambridge Public Library will begin providing mobile hotspots for checkout through contactless holds pickup services on Monday August 31st. The deployment of mobile hotspots for checkout is the second phase of our Takeout Technology program launched in early August to expand access to technology resources during the COVID-19 health crisis.

"Many people in the Cambridge community lack reliable internet at home, and with so many spaces closed that used to provide free Wi-Fi, the need for connectivity is greater than ever,” said Reinhard Engels, manager of technology and innovation for the Cambridge Public Library. “Our takeout hotspots make it possible for at least some of those people to get online again. Check out one of our Chromebook laptops to go with it and you have everything you need to send email, make video calls, apply for jobs, take online courses, and more.”

Patrons will be able to borrow mobile hotspots for up to two weeks with a one-time renewal if there are no existing holds for the device. Patrons can request mobile hotspots by calling the Main Library at 617-349-4040, providing their library card number and scheduling a pickup time. Chromebook laptops are also available for takeout.

Reservations, pickups, and returns can be made during our Contactless Pickup service hours, Monday-Wednesday 1:30-7 p.m. and Thursday-Saturday 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Main Library, 449 Broadway. Mobile hotspots should be returned in the oversized Items bin during these hours.

“I am excited that we are honoring our commitment to provide access to technology and other library resources by making Wi-Fi Hotspots available for checkout,” said Dr. Maria McCauley, Director of Libraries, “Wi-Fi Hotspots will make it possible for community members with no internet connection to access the great resources that the library offers.”

“I want to thank the Cambridge Public Library staff for expanding resident’s access to technology options, especially during a time when patrons cannot utilize the many in-person services our library branches provide,” said Louis A. DePasquale. “The takeout Wi-Fi hotspot program builds on the City’s ongoing digital equity efforts, including our sponsorship program that will provide home internet connections to over 400 qualified Cambridge Public School families.”

Patrons who need help getting started, or some assistance with using mobile hotspots may call 617-349-4040 or email library staff at library@cambridgema.gov to set up a One-on-One Tech Help session.