09/01/2020- The Menominee County Library System has a new effort underway to bring internet access to more residents in the County. When the COVID pandemic hit, many people who relied on public access points to get online suddenly found themselves without those resources. Amanda Winnicki, Menominee County Library Director, says to assist, she made the library’s Wi-Fi available from the facility’s parking lot, and the response to that got her thinking about more ways to keep people connected in a region that’s historically been underserved by commercial internet providers.

Since then, Winnicki has been applying for grants to bring Wi-Fi hotspots to municipal halls throughout Menominee County and has been successful in securing several of those grants already. While other library systems have hotspots that can be loaned to individual users, this approach will make it available to even more residents on their own schedule.

The first of these new Wi-Fi hotspots are expected to be rolled out within the next month at some municipal buildings throughout the County. Winnicki says they’ll be in place for about a year before they’ll need to explore alternative funding options if that township wants to keep it long-term.