Answered By: Cathay
Last Updated: May 20, 2023     Views: 497

What are Hotspots?

Mobile Hotspots are small devices that can travel with you or you can use at home, that provide wifi (access to the internet) to your smartphone, computer, laptop or tablet when you are in the service area - although coverage may be limited in some areas.  See below for details.

How to check out a Hotspot

How do I reserve a Hotspot to check out?  You can reserve a Hotspot just like you would reserve a library book.  Go to the library's catalog page, log in on your library account, search for "mobile hotspot," and place a hold

Alternatively, any library staff can also place a hold for you - feel free to call us at 941-861-1110 (Sarasota County Libraries Info Central) to place a hold for you or come to the library during regular library hours.

Can I check out more than one hotspot at a time?  No, only one hotspot can be checked out at a time per library card.

How long do the devices check out for?  14 Days.

Can the hotspots be renewed?  Yes, unless there is a waiting list. To renew, call 941-861-1110

Who can checkout a device?  Any adult with a Sarasota County library card in good standing.

Can reciprocal borrowers check out a hotspot?  No, the Hotspot program is for Sarasota residents and those who purchase visitor cards. 

Do I have to sign a borrower agreement?  No. 

How long do I have to pick up the item?  Unlike all other items in the library, patrons only have 3 days to pick up a Hotspot. After that, it moves to the next person, as these devices are in high demand. 

Can I use the device in the library?  No. Do not turn the devices on when in the building as it interferes with the public WiFi. 

Will the device work anywhere?  As with any mobile device, coverage is not guaranteed. To see if it will work in a particular area, see the Sprint Coverage Map.  Please note that the device needs to be indicated to get accurate results (coolpad surf or LinkZone2). 

About the Hotspot


What is in the carrying case?

The device, a power cord, an adapter, and the Quick Start Guide.

How many devices can connect to one hotspot? 10

Is there a data cap?  No, data is unlimited. 

Does the device have a filter?  Yes, the device uses a CIPA filter. The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was enacted by Congress in 2000 to address concerns about children's access to obscene or harmful content over the Internet. In early 2001, the FCC issued rules implementing CIPA and provided updates to those rules in 2011. 

What is the Lost/Replacement Fee?  $79.99

What is the Hotspot network called?

SSID (Name of Network): SRQLibrariesHotspot

Key or Password: Each device has its own unique password. The password is found on the back of each device.  

Returning the Hotspot

How do I return the Hotspot?  Bring the device back to the library in person. (Please don't put these through the book drop.)

What happens if the Hotspot becomes overdue?  If overdue, the data will be turned off and the device will not be usable. There are no daily overdue fines.

Do we quarantine Hotspots?   No, due to high demand we ask that upon return, the items are wiped down with a sanitizing agent and immediately made available for next patron. 

If you have any further questions, please contact us directly through this Ask Us service, or by phone (941-861-1110) or in person during regular library hours. Thank you!

Comments (2)

  1. Missing here is any explanation of what the hotspot is used for, and what the user must have or use to take advantage of it
    by x on Jan 02, 2022
  2. Hi X, thank you for your comment! While the FAQ assumes that the reader has prior knowledge regarding mobile hotspots, it is true that some readers may not have that knowledge! Before these answers are added to the FAQ, allow me to address them for you here! - What is a hotspot? A hotspot is any accessible wireless internet connection that is tied to a physical place: for example, the guest wifi network available for use at any of our library locations; any open wifi network at a restaurant or coffee shop; or a wireless connection provided by a router at somebody’s home. A mobile hotspot is essentially the same thing but is portable, and as a result can be taken anywhere to provide internet access on the go where wifi might be limited or inaccessible, like to the beach or on a long drive down the highway. - To use a mobile hotspot, you would need a mobile device that is capable of connecting to the internet: a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, or any other device that can establish a wireless connection to a network. Connecting to a library mobile hotspot requires the name of the network (the SSID, as stated in the FAQ) and the password to access it; the process would be similar for most other consumer mobile hotspots. Once you have accessed the hotspot, it will provide the device with an internet connection so long as the hotspot remains on and within its range (can vary, but on your person is the safest bet!). For more information about hotspots, mobile or otherwise, Intel provides a great description and explanation of functions and terminology here: ( I hope that answered your questions for you! If you need any further explanation, feel free to reply, or Ask Us through chat or by phone at 941-861-1110! Best, Diego
    by Diego Hernandez-Calabria - Selby, Sarasota County Libraries on Jan 03, 2022

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