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The Contra Costa County Library is offering help for people with library cards but no internet access.

Library patrons can now check out Wi-Fi hot spots, allowing free internet for those studying or working remotely.

The portable hotspots connect Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones to the internet. One hotspot can connect up to 10 devices at once and works almost anywhere in the continental United States.

“Due to the pandemic, many people in our communities need access to the internet more than ever,” said county librarian Alison McKee. “Reliable internet service will help with work, school, and with staying connected to friends and family members they can’t see right now.”

Hotspots are available for checkout online, or by calling any library in the Contra Costa system. Borrowers must have cards and be in good standing with the library.

Lending periods are 21 days and renewable if there is no waitlist. Hotspots come with a case, instructions and a charging cord. One kit is available at a time. The library also offers printing and scanning service at various locations.

Libraries are currently closed due to the pandemic, but front-door service is available at 24 county branches, except Pinole and Ygnacio Valley. People can go online to make reservations and schedule a pickup or call 800-984-4636.

Wireless internet is normally provided inside all library buildings, but during the pandemic access is limited to some library parking lots and other outside areas around libraries.