Public Lecture Series—Checking out the Internet

Colin Rhinesmith

How mobile wireless hotspot devices shape internet access in rural areas

Starts:  4/12/2017  12:00 PM
Ends: 4/12/2017 1:00 PM
Location: P213, One Palace Road

How do hotspot lending programs help rural libraries address the unique challenges of Internet connectivity in their communities? This talk will present findings from a research project to explore how mobile wireless hotspot devices—which allow users to access the Internet from any place with a cellular signal—shape internet access and use for the patrons of 24 libraries in rural Kansas and Maine. The research examines the practical requirements for implementing hotspot lending programs; the impact on users’ digital literacy and quality of life; the role of libraries in rural information ecosystems; and the relationship between library hotspot lending programs and other institutions, including schools, local governments, and Internet service providers. This project is being led by researchers at the University of Austin at Texas, Oklahoma State University and Simmons College and funded by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Presenting on this project will be Co-Principal Investigator Colin Rhinesmith, Assistant Professor in the Simmons School of Library and Information Science, and research assistant Madison Bishop, second-year graduate student.

The Public Lecture Series was started in 2004 by Prof. Benoît as a venue inviting faculty, staff, students, practitioners, and the entire College community to share their ideas.