Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Wireless Libraries Yeah!

One half of my humble proposal came true on Monday when the Tumwater, Olympia and Lacey libraries all launched wireless networks:
Timberland Regional Library (TRL) is pleased to offer free wireless Internet access to patrons in 24 TRL libraries in Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific and Thurston counties. Service began Monday, December 12. Access is available during each library’s regular open hours.

Wireless networking in the library offers patrons numerous benefits:

It allows patrons to bring their own laptop computers to the library where they can access the Internet and the library’s research databases, catalog, and other TRL Web page resources.

Patrons do not need to wait for an available library Internet computer.

It allows the public more computer and Internet access in the library, while saving the library the cost of buying additional computers.

Patrons can use their wireless computers in most areas of the library; they are not restricted to the designated library computer areas.

There is no charge for the service and it is not necessary to schedule time in advance.
This also an important step in making libraries greater centers of civic culture here, that libraries become functional in a real way for citizens. Libraries shouldn't just become repositories for books and agencies established to aid in recreational reading. They should be active agents in encouraging civic dialogue.

I know my train of logic from wireless network all the way to civic libraries isn't all together obvious. But, having wireless in our libraries increases their viablilty as Third Places.

Wireless Internet Access - General Setup Information

Wireless Internet Access – Frequently Asked Questions

3 comments:

Jacob Metcalf said...

Here in Kitsap County we have free Wifi at all of our libraries

Emmett said...

And, its crazy that we've had to wait so long. I'm still shocked at the lukewarm reception the possibility of a downtown wifi network has recieved in Oly.

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