Skip to main content

Circulating WiFi

When the Who told us we should be "Going Mobile" on the album Who's Next (1971), we weren't thinking about mobile devices and wireless internet access.  Pete Townshend had something else in mind when he wrote the lyrics (i.e., the joys of travelling the open road in a mobile home). [FN 1] But today, going mobile conjures people carrying smartphones, tablets, other handheld computers or mobile devices.

Not everyone, however, is sufficiently affluent or technologically sophisticated to purchase and utilize their own mobile devices. That's why public libraries still offer computer workstations for public use.  Some folks have laptops or desktop computers but can't afford a monthly internet service provider.  Coming to the library may not always be convenient for patrons (such as when the library's closed).  If only internet access were mobile!

Thankfully, libraries now offer portable wireless broadband devices (WiFi) that patrons may checkout using their library cards. At my library, we use Sprint WiFi Hotspots, which provide wireless 4G online connectivity to multiple computing devices.  The Hotspots look like this:

Sprint WiFi Hotspot with USB cable and power plug adapter

We furnish patrons with an information packet when they checkout a Hotspot (along with our circulation policy).  Our promo trailer (below) is one way we market the devices; we also promote them on our website, social media, outdoor LED sign, handouts, and signs inside the library.  We circulate three Hotspot devices.

WiFi Hotspots Promo Trailer,
by Mooresville Public Library

These WiFi Hotspots have been extremely popular.  Patrons check them out constantly, and there is a healthy holds list.  It is just another service that we as a public library may offer our constituency.

[FN 1}: Grantley, S.; Parker, A.G. (2010). The Who by Numbers. Helter Skelter Publishing. pp. 94–95. ISBN 978-1-905139-26-2.

P.S.  Here's "Going Mobile" by the Who, from the album Who's Next (1971) (video by Mark Allen Parker [2012]).


Popular posts from this blog

"Library Spokescritters" Social Media Success Stories

Previously, we discussed how libraries could use "spokescritters" (i.e., resident animals) to promote their services and collections.  Many of these "spokescritters" have taken to social media as their primary promotional vehicles.  How successful have they been?
Consider Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library's feline roving reporter, Cauli Le Chat.  Her blog, Cat's Eye View @ MPL, has been viewed extensively--as of right now, it has 475,341 viewings.  We saw this graphic from yesterday's blog posting:
Total Blog Viewings (as of February 24, 2018) Cat's Eye View @ MPL
Mooresville Public Library (MPL) serves Brown Township in Morgan County, Indiana, which has a population under 15,000.  Furthermore, Cauli Le Chat officially "retired" as roving reporter early last year, because she doesn't get out as much as she used to (she once lived down the street and would hangout outside the library--hence her "roving reporter" status), and al…

Book Challenges Due to Social Media Exposure

I work at Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library, and we occasionally receive challenges to items in our collections (usually books) that some patrons consider offensive, unfair, or contrary to their particular religious or value system.  Most of these challenges come verbally from irate patrons complaining to the circulation desk staff.  The library provides a written form in which patrons may explain their objections to specific items and their reasons, but, not surprisingly, many people don't want to commit their attacks to writing.  It's much easier to simply bellow at library staff and demand that the "undesirable" materials be removed "immediately."
We insist that the form be completed before an independent committee will review any complaints.  When patrons fill-out the form, they often cannot identify passages or page numbers upon which the offending words or ideas were presented.  That, of course, if because many people who challenge books and wish to…

Using Video to Promote ALA Banned Books Week

When promoting ALA Banned BooksWeek (BBW), most librarians have probably turned to the ol' reliable book display, like so:

Click images to enlarge

Book displays are great.  They centralize selected items, focus patrons' attention on a particular topic or theme, and they're relatively easy and inexpensive to produce.  But they're just so, well, static.  Stuff just sits there until patrons come along.
Another popular static medium we use to promote BBW is the customized book mark.

These take a bit more work but are fine as promotional tools, as far as they go.
How about something more, say, techno-savvy?

2018 Banned Books Week Promo Trailer by Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library

2016 Banned Books Week Promo Trailer by Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library

Since 2010 my library has used videos to promote BBW.  There are the promo trailer variety (above) that help stimulate interest, and these are reasonably effective (some of ours have been viewed thousands of times).  Book trailer…