In rural Marathon County, Wisconsin, there’s a new gathering place for a time of social distancing: the library parking lot. It’s not a place for direct socializing. But for some rural residents, the Wi-Fi hotspots that libraries provide are a lifeline to news, virtual school lessons, and social connections. Stacey Botsford lives about five miles north of Athens, where she and her husband run an organic farm. The Marathon County Public Library in Athens is the nearest place with a reliable wireless internet signal. And with school closed as a public health measure to try to slow the spread of COVID-19, Botsford’s 7-year-old daughter now has daily e-learning assignments that require internet access.
Wisconsin Public Radio, Mar. 23