wi-fi

Tips, Tricks, and Advice for Collecting Wi-Fi Stats at Your Library

Last month in our newsletter, we asked our members how they collected Wi-Fi statistics at their respective libraries through a short survey. This month, we're excited to share those results with you!

A Quick Breakdown of the Numbers:

Before we delve into the results, a quick caveat: this is in no way a broad representation of how libraries gather statistics. There was a total of 27 respondents to our survey, so we can't draw any general conclusions about how libraries gather statistics, but there is still plenty of advice we wanted to share with other libraries.

Fifty-nine percent of our respondents said that they do collect Wi-Fi statistics.

When we asked how they collected statistics, 31 percent of our respondents said that their Wi-Fi hardware has a built-in tool that gets the job done.

But the largest category of respondents, 47.6 percent, answered that they used a different tool than what we listed (see pie chart below).

Loaning Out Internet Access at the Providence Community Library

Libraries offering free Internet access is nothing new. But the Providence Community Library (RI) is taking an innovative leap by allowing patrons to literally check out free home Internet access for a week.

How does Providence do it? They loan out Mobile Beacon hotspot devices.

Share, learn, and do

So you have a Cookbook. You've used it. You have opinions about how it worked for you.

Or...

Maybe you haven't used a Cookbook yet. Maybe there's something you want to do, and you'd like to hear how others have done it.

If this describes you, or maybe you're just curious about what in the world I'm talking about, listen in...

Advertise your wi-fi!

Terrific idea from the ever-informative WIRED-MT listserv about how to advertise wi-fi services at your library:

"Often, libraries may provide the only wireless access in town. If you provide wifi, you can list your library in one or more WiFi directories. This makes people aware of a very valuable service you provide that may be somewhat hidden. Additionally, these directories are handy for you and your patrons when trying to find wifi access.

Here is a list of a few sites you can list in for free.

wireless questions: answered

Louise Alcorn, librarian, author, and wireless expert extraordinare, recently responded to a blog comment worth talking about.

BOO! Stories of wireless HORROR

In the spirit of this spooky season, I wanted to address some Wireless Horror Stories – potential issues and problems with wireless. Remarkably, I’ve had a hard time finding stories of real horror. Especially in the last few years, during which time wireless has become more prevalent and therefore implements more smoothly. The usual response from libraries has been “the wireless project went just fine." So much for horror...

Steal this wireless policy checklist

Use this "Quick Look" checklist to make sure you’re covering your bases when it comes to crafting a wireless policy for your library. For more information on wireless policies, check out an earlier post on the topic.

Now that you have wireless, how about a policy?

Recently I wrote a post about marketing your wireless service. It sparked a number of excellent comments, including some questions on policy. I decided they were worth answering in a longer form, including some helpful tips cribbed from my book on Wireless Networking for Libraries which I thought would be helpful.

Shhh! It's a secret.

“Yeah, we have wireless at our library…but we don’t tell anyone about it!” When I began looking at wireless for my library, I heard this more than once from other libraries. I found this very odd. If you had a new storytime format or some new DVDs, would you keep them a secret? What is it about wireless, or wi-fi, that has some libraries so scared? Is it that the technology is so new and/or difficult? Well, we’ve been providing some sort of Internet access at most libraries for some years now and technically wireless is simply another way to provide that access.