Service interruption in the Library's Online Catalog - Nov. 19
Between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19, our Bibliocommons catalog will be unavailable for up to two hours for system maintenance. During that time, please use our classic catalog.
Library Closed Thursday, Nov. 23
All locations of The Seattle Public Library and the book drops at the Central Library will be closed on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 23.
Check out the Internet— borrow an SPL HotSpot from your Library.
The SPL HotSpot is an easy-to-use, mobile hotspot that keeps your tablet, laptop and other Wi-Fi–enabled devices connected to the Internet.
You can connect up to 15 devices to 4G LTE and 3G networks, and also charge external devices.
What do I need to know?
- How do I check out the device?
Stop by your branch or use your Library card to place a hold and check it out just like any other item. (And remember, wireless access is available at no charge at all Library locations.)
- Who can check out this device?
Anyone who has a valid Library card can borrow an SPL HotSpot. Don't have a Library card? Apply here.
- How long can I keep it?
You can borrow it for 21 days. Overdue hotspots will have Internet access deactivated within 24 hours beyond their due date.
- Can I reserve a hotspot to check out at a particular time?
Hotspots can be requested like other Library materials. When you place a hold, you will be placed on a waiting list to receive the next available hotspot. Requests can be suspended or "paused" to help control when an item becomes ready for pickup. Learn more about managing holds.
- Can I use the hotspot outside of the U.S.?
No, the hotspots only work in the U.S.
- Can I use the hotspot to send/receive text messages?
No. Texting/SMS messaging is not available.
- How do I return it?
You can return the hotspot to any Library location or book drop, just like other items. You must return the device with all the original packaging and accessories. Please fully charge the battery before you return the device.
- How do I renew it?
You can renew the device by logging into your account or at any Library location, just like any other item.
- How much does it cost?
Borrowing and using the device is free! If the device is lost or damaged beyond repair, a $199 fee will be charged to your Library account.
- What information about my Internet usage, if any, is tracked by the Library or the service provider?
The hotspot program is an opt-in service, and that the ISP is not bound to the Library's patron privacy policies. We can suggest that patrons use a VPN service or the Tor browser if they want to have an extra level of security when using a hotspot. The SPL HotSpot program is also exempt from ad-targeting programs ("supercookies") that some service providers may use to identify and track customers.
The Library maintains records of which patrons have checked out Library materials for the duration of the checkout period and may use that data to maintain proper operation of the Library in accordance with our Confidentiality of Borrower Records policy. We eliminate personally identifiable information from those records as soon as the items are returned and processed.
The Library does not have access to or collect specific usage data. The Library does not provide patron information to the service provider. The only data about the SPL HotSpot program that the Library collects is (a) the total amount of data transmitted and received by each device during a billing cycle, (b) anonymous circulation data related to checkouts of the hotspot devices and (c) data that patrons choose to submit to us anonymously via an online survey.
- Why did I receive a survey from the Library after I checked out an SPL HotSpot?
We'd like your feedback. We're asking users to provide general demographic information and to tell us if you think the hotspots are easy to use or if you have suggestions for improving the program. The survey is optional and the data is collected anonymously. The data helps the Library acquire additional funding to support the program, improve its operations and assess the benefits of the program to the community.
- My hotspot prompted me to update the software. Should I do that?
Yes. The hotspot periodically receives software updates from the service provider. You can go ahead and accept the update. The software upgrade process only takes a few minutes.
- My hotspot displayed a message that said "Data Limit Reached."
Under certain circumstances related to heavy use in an area, the service provider may limit the amount of data that its network will carry, usually for a few hours. This is done automatically in response to heavy network congestion. If this happens, the SPL HotSpot may display the "Data Limit Reached" message and Internet speeds for the device will be reduced for a period of time. The Library does not receive notice when this occurs and there is no "fix" other than to wait until the congestion period is over.
- How can I learn how to use additional features on the hotspot?
You can access full documentation for the Jetpack MiFi 6620L device at Verizon's website. Many of the articles won't apply to the SPL HotSpot program since the devices are already activated and configured. If you have problems using the device, the instructions for resetting the device or for removing and re-inserting the battery may be useful. The SPL HotSpot may also be used to "tether" to a laptop via a USB port.
- Are hotspots only available by placing a hold?
Most hotspots are available for any Library patron to place on hold through the reserve feature in the Library catalog, so they can be checked out like any other item. Some hotspots cannot be placed on hold because they are set aside for outreach work conducted by staff who work with digital literacy and equity efforts in the community.
- Other questions?
Ask a Librarian