Wifi in the Library

I finally managed to get PUBLICIP working at the Howard Branch this week. As soon as I get approval from the director/ library board, I will begin offering free wireless service at the Howard branch, with the hope that soon, all branches of the Cass District Library will be wireless. As far as I know, this will be the first wireless hotspot in Cass County.

I would also like to have coffee available. (For me, as well as for the patron :).)

Any words of wisdom about providing access for the public would be welcome.

A few things that I know I need to address include:

  • Instructions. I have looked at few policies, including this one from the Waterford Township Library in Michigan. I like it because it is simple, and it gives patrons hints about connecting and is not too restrictive. The one thing that I would change is the prohibition on IM
  • Advertisement. I really need help with this one. The folks at PUBLICIP have given some help with graphics, but I really am not sure exactly how to advertise this. I wish that the branch had a sign with a msg board, so I could advertise on the roadside. If I had a University near, that would be a great place to advertise. Any other ideas are welcome
  • Policies. I believe that our current Internet Access Policy will cover us. We do not filter and do not receive erate funding for internet service. I realize that we must still comply with PA212, but I don’t see why our current Internet access policy would not cover us.
  • Training staff. This is the hard one. I think that this whole system is wonderful and simple, because I am the one who set it up. I need to remember that I am not the only person who works at the Howard Branch. What is intuitive to me, is not necessarily so for others. Before this can truly be successful, all of the staff who might be asked about this must have at least a rudimentary understanding of the ins and outs of the program. Ideally the other employees will be as well versed in PUBLICIP protocol as I am.

I am excited about trying this. I worry that I may be pushing a technology that is not in demand in this area; however, I also feel that if the public is unaware of a technology or service, it is our job to help them understand how it can help them.

About ashkev

The Fiddling Librarian 3.0 is Kevin Smith’s personal weblog. Kevin is a recent graduate with an MLS from IUPUI. Kevin is the Assistant Director of the Cass District Library which is in Cass County Michigan.
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