Rome-Floyd County Library

The Rome-Floyd County Library, located at 205 Riverside Parkway.

Soon, the Sara Hightower Regional Library System will have a new item to check out from their branches: WiFi Hotspots.

The library system was recently awarded a $5,300 grant for tech innovation titled “Hotspot Checkouts” from the Libraries without Walls Grant Initiative.

“The grant has allowed us to purchase 15 hotspots for libraries, and we’ll be dividing those up among the branches,” Library Director Delana Sissell said.

Hotspots are portable WiFi routers that can be checked out at the library and taken anywhere to set up internet connection to any device.

“I think especially now it’s been difficult to always have internet, especially our students,” the director said. “So hopefully this will help our communities.”

Depending on when the state of emergency will be lifted by Gov. Brian Kemp, Sissell is hoping to fully reopen their doors sometime in the summer.

The library system, which is comprised of several branches spread throughout Floyd, Polk and Chatooga Counties, reopened their doors with limited hours back in August and continue to offer curbside service to their patrons.

“Over the holidays, we continued our programming with virtual story time, take home craft kits for kids and other digital activities,” Sissell said.

By summer, the staff hopes that there will be a decrease in COVID-19 cases and that they can host more outdoor activities and events for the community, but right now, they’re continuing to plan mostly virtual events.

Library donations are down at this time since it’s been difficult for all businesses to get funds, but they are trying to come up with more efficient ways to use their budget and come together as a team.

The annual summer reading programs for adults and kids are underway and you can now sign up for the adult spring program by visiting the library system’s website and clicking on “Reading Programs.”

The spring program will run from March 1 to April 10, while the summer program doesn’t start until June.

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