WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls Public Library has been chosen by the Tocker Foundation to implement a hotspot lending program for citizens of Wichita Falls and the surrounding area.

Officials with the Wichita Falls Public Library said they received 10 mobile hotspot devices to provide wireless internet access that may be checked out to patrons for a period of three weeks, similar to other library materials.

The purpose of this project is to strengthen broadband availability in rural counties.

“These hotspots will assist our community with internet access in many ways,” Jana Hausburg, Administrator for the Wichita Falls Public Library said. “You might be traveling to a remote area without WIFI and need to keep in touch with work or family, or you might be digitally unconnected and need to complete a school course or to help your kids do their homework. Now we’ve got hotspots for your convenience.”

Hausburg said other programs that ‘lend out the internet’ to bridge the digital divide have been successfully implemented in many locations through cellular-based mobile hotspots.

The Tocker Foundation supports small, rural community libraries within Texas serving populations of 12,000 or less and partners with libraries to meet the particular needs of their communities.

“Tocker donated the hotspots,” Hausburg said. “They’ll pay for the internet service for about 16 months.”

Hausburg said they’ll then make a decision as to whether or not to continue offering the service.

For more information, call the Wichita Falls Public Library at (940) 767-0868.