Ahhh...Michigan Libraries, Access and Tourists

I vacation in Traverse City , which is just a bit south of Petoskey. This article on LIS grabbed me because it really points out what is good about Libraries as info centers, meeting places and a place to stop in and send e-mail, photos, or surf.

Michigan Libraries: Small Libraries, Big Cyber Leap

Mike Wendland writes:

I was at the library to tap into the high-speed hookup to send photographs back to the Free Press for a story about my experiences riding some 280 miles in the Michigander bicycle ride. The story will appear in Tuesday's Body & Mind section.

I visited the library of each community where Michigander riders stayed overnight after leaving Midland -- Harrison, Grayling, Gaylord, Indian River, Mackinac City and Petoskey -- and found mostly similar stories.

But not all communities were as Web friendly as Petoskey.

In Mackinaw City, a big sign on the front door announces that, by library board policy, there is no e-mail access for the public.

Inside, head librarian Judy Ranville made it clear that she endorsed the rule. "Seventy-five percent of the people who want this aren't from around here," she said, "and if we offered it, we'd have them lining up out the door."

There is Internet access available -- at dial-up speeds -- but only for Web searching.

Thankfully, all the other libraries I visited had high-speed access and were delighted to have traveling visitors stop by and log in.

Posted: Fri - August 1, 2003 at 06:22 PM