Montana Hot Spot Lending Program

This page contains information to assist libraries in setting up their hot spots for circulation and use in the community. 

Example Circulation Policies/Templates for Hot Spot Programs

Example Policies for Laptops/Devices for Checkout

Cataloging Information

Suggested Check-In Procedures

For all devices, it is recommended that you tape the battery door shut to prevent a missing battery or SIM card tampering. When the hot spots are checked in, we strongly recommend that library staff check to make sure the hot spot SIM card is still present and that the SIM card number is the correct one for that device. You might want to add "Check for battery" and "check that the correct SIM card is in the device" to your list. If a hot spot is returned with a missing, damaged, or incorrect SIM card, please report that to MSL so that we can issue a replacement SIM card.

Fines and Fees with Hot Spots

The State Library prefers that libraries do not charge overdue fines on the mobile hotspots. We recognize that local policy may mean the library needs to charge an overdue fine equivalent to what is charged for physical materials. For Montana Shared Catalog libraries, fine options are:

  1. No fines
  2. 10 cents per day
  3. $1.00 per day

Suggested Overdue Procedures for Hot Spots

If a patron doesn’t return a hot spot to the library by the due date, we recommend giving them a 3-day grace period to return the device. After that time, you can contact Hot Spot support staff at to deactivate the device, which would render it useless to whomever has it. Once the hot spot device is returned to the library, please contact Hot Spot support staff again to reactivate it. Once it is reactivated, you can then put it back into circulation.

Hot Spot Replacements

If a hot spot is lost by a patron, or not returned, replacements will be covered by the State Library. 

Hot Spot Device Tracking and Record-Keeping

In order to suspend an overdue hot spot or cancel service on a lost or broken hot spot, the State Library must provide certain information to T-Mobile or Verizon. In order to facilitate cancellations and suspensions, we ask that libraries keep track of the following information for their hot spots:

  • For T-Mobile hot spots, please keep track of the SIM or IMEI number for each device.
  • For Verizon hot spots, please keep track of the phone number, username, SIM, or IMEI number for each device.

Evaluation Surveys for the Hot Spot Program

Please print out paper copies of the survey and give them to patrons who participate in the program. Please enter the paper survey responses into the online survey - link listed below.