In coming months, local residents won’t have to buy a latte if
they want free Internet access.
Instead, they can bring their laptops, Palm Pilots or other
handheld gadgets to the local library.
Gilroy – In coming months, local residents won’t have to buy a latte if they want free Internet access.
Instead, they can bring their laptops, Palm Pilots or other handheld gadgets to the local library.
The Gilroy library and seven other branches of the Santa Clara County Library System will begin offering patrons free wireless Internet service as early as March 2006.
“We’ve been asked by different people who bring computers in if we have WiFi,” said Lani Yoshimura, head of the Gilroy library. “We’ve got a limited number of computers in our building and people are always waiting to use the Internet. People can now just sit down and go to work instead of waiting to get on our computers.”
The wireless connections will mirror the service options currently offered by the library, which filters inappropriate Web sites on computers in the children’s section but allows computer users in the adult section to opt out of the filtered version.
Melinda Cervantes, head of the regional library system, said the local branches are getting a big return for a minimal investment. She said officials estimate it will cost $100,000 to install WiFi at all eight branches, followed by annual expenses of $15,000 of the entire system.
“It’s something our library patrons have been requesting for a couple of years now,” Cervantes said. “One of the reasons we’re most interested in it is because we believe it will extend our services through the library, in addition to Internet access. We hope that will free up our equipment for others.”
She predicted the new technology would attract a growing number of high school and college students, as well as business people.