Mobile Hotspot Lending Program

Highland Community Library has established a Wi-Fi hotspot lending program to provide our patrons with high-speed internet access, in accordance with our mission to empower our community by providing opportunities to connect, discover, and thrive.

What is a mobile hotspot?

Wi-Fi hotspots are internet access points that allow you to connect to the Internet using your computer, smartphone, tablet, and other Wi-Fi enabled devices.

If you have a smartphone, you probably pay for a monthly cellular data plan through your service provider (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc.). Cellular data allows you to wirelessly search the web and download or use apps from your phone.

Just like your smartphone, mobile hotspots also use cellular data from a service provider to give you internet access on the go. But with a mobile hotspot, you aren’t limited to just one device–you can connect your computer, tablet, or any other device that allows you to log onto the Internet.

When you check out a mobile hotspot from the library, you are checking out the library’s subscription to a data plan to use the Internet from wherever you are. The library’s service provider is T-Mobile, which means that we pay for a monthly cellular plan for each hotspot in our library, at no cost to you.

How do the hotspots work?

The library’s hotspots are simple to use–just press the power button, wait for the screen to boot up, and log onto the internet from your device with the provided username and password.

Step-by-step instructions are listed inside the hotspot case, and our library staff will be happy to show you how it works before you take it home.

When fully charged, the battery allows for up to 8 hours of continuous use and up to 48 hours on standby. Hotspots may need to be charged before first use and regularly after that. The battery will fully charge within 3-5 hours. The battery discharges faster as additional devices connect to your hotspot. Battery life depends on the network, signal strength, temperature, features, and active connection time.

Who can borrow a hotspot?

Patrons of any library in the Cambria County Library System may borrow a hotspot from Highland Community Library, free of charge. Hotspot borrowers must be 17 years old and in good standing with the county libraries.

Only one hotspot is allowed per household at a time. Each hotspot will support up to 15 connected devices.

For how long?

Patrons may borrow hotspots for the following loan durations:

  • 2 weeks (Hotspots 1-20)
  • 4 weeks (Hotspots 21-40)
  • 1 week (Hotspots 41-50)

Hotspots 1-40 may be reserved—just like a book—through the library catalog or by calling the library service desk at: 814-266-5610 ext. 306 during normal business hours. Holds must be picked up within 3 days of availability, or they will be set aside for the next patron.

Hotspots cannot be renewed. However, hotspots 1-40 can be immediately checked out again upon return if the hotspot is not on hold for another patron.

Hotspots 41-50 are available on a first-come, first-served basis and may not be reserved ahead of time.

How should I return a hotspot?

Hotspots must be returned to Highland Community Library, and they cannot be returned in the book drop but must be brought into the building and handed to a staff member.

Hotspots should be returned with the hotspot, power cord, and case in the same good working condition as when checked out. Hotspots are thoroughly checked for condition and functionality of device, SIM card, and battery between borrowers.

What happens in the event of late return, loss, or damage?

The late fee for hotspots is $1 per day. If the hotspot is not returned within 3 days after the due date, service will be turned off and the patron’s library privileges will be suspended until the hotspot is returned.

Highland Community Library is willing to work with our patrons to address any fines accrued if the hotspot is returned in a reasonable amount of time. Please contact us if you are unable to return the hotspot on time for any reason.

If the hotspot is damaged or not working, return it to Highland Community Library and report the nature of the damage to a staff person.

Problems? Direct borrower technical support is provided by T-Mobile to library hotspot borrowers at: 1-844-341-4834, or you can contact the library at 814-266-5610.

Patrons will not be held monetarily responsible for loss or damage, though borrowing privileges may be affected.

A revocation of hotspot borrowing privileges may be appealed by written request to the Library Director.

What are my responsibilities as a borrower?

Borrowers will adhere to the library’s Computer & Internet Acceptable Use policy when using the mobile hotspot. Please note that the hotspots are filtered by default using T-Mobile’s content filtering for education.

While checked out, the hotspot remains the responsibility of the borrower. Borrowers should not lose control of the device by lending to friends or associates.

Hotspots must be kept in a temperature-controlled environment at all times.


Any attempt to alter the configuration of the hotspot is strictly prohibited and may result in loss of borrowing privileges.

Any use of the device for illegal purposes, unauthorized copying of copyright-protected material in any format, or transmission of threatening, harassing, defamatory or obscene materials is strictly prohibited. Illegal acts involving Highland Community Library equipment or services may also be subject to prosecution.

Highland Community Library will have no liability for direct, indirect or consequential damages related to the use of the mobile hotspots, including loss of data, or privacy invasions. Those who use the hotspots do so at their own risk and assume full liability for their actions.

Funding for the hotspots is provided by the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program, which reimburses schools and libraries for the costs of equipment and broadband connections to serve community educational needs.

For more information about borrowing a hotspot or other items in our Library of Things, please contact us via email at or by calling 814-266-5610. Download a PDF of the library’s Hotspot Lending Policy.

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330 Schoolhouse Road
Johnstown, PA 15904-2924

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