Traverse Area District Library is my library away from home! Jeff, in IT there, IMs on occasion to let me know what's happening. This just debuted! What a great service provided by the library that reaches out into the community using some pretty nice techie tools.Not only are library hotspots listed, but other free ones as well.
I asked Jeff what their goals were. He said:
"We had a few goals in mind:
1. provide our patrons with an accurate list of free hotspots in the area
2. gain additional real-world experience with (buzzword alert) AJAX, XML, XSLT, the Google Maps API, etc.
3. provide reasonable fallback mechanisms for browsers that do not support all of the aforementioned technologies...the site works very well in latest MSIE, Firefox, Mozilla, Opera, and Safari, while still providing useful information to users using Konqueror, Lynx, Netscape Navigator 4.8, etc."
Check this page out! Is this another way the library could provide a community service?
John, who reads TTW, sends this:
"Thought you might find this of interest. Here is a Slashdot item about Panera being the largest WiFi provider in the country:
All St. Joseph County Public Library Locations
Panera Bread -North Main Street, Mishawaka (FREE)
Borders, 4230 Grape Road Mishawaka, IN 46545 (T-Mobile account required)
Holiday Inn Express, 6701 North Main Street, Mishawaka (FREE)
Burger King, Downtown South Bend at Main and LaSalle (FREE)
Carlton Lodge, 420 West Univesity Drive, Mishawaka (FREE)
South Bend Marriott, 123 N. St. Joseph St, South Bend (STSN)
How wonderful.... I hope more and more cities fall in line as well. I want to findmyself anywhere and be connected with my PowerBook -- especially with the online classes I'm in!
A great starter is adding wifi at your library and promoting the heck out of it!
CJ at technobiblio shared this link with me via IM this am:
Rock On Jeff and all the folks at the Traverse Area District Library. I'll be up there alot to use your connection!
Ugh... I'm speechless... This summer, I spent a few minuted parked outside of a place in TC that had wifi vbecause I desperately had to check UNT class stuff. I might have been accosted as well if a TC police officer had found me there...
What the heck? I hope this makes the big news media... it highlights something we need to think about in this world of access and laptops everywhere...
On Saturday, we had a FRONT PAGE article on WiFi!
Wireless Internet can be accessed for free at local libraries and businesses
By MARGARET FOSMOE
Tribune Staff Writer
ON SCREEN: Stephen Taig, of Elkhart, works on his laptop computer last week at Panera Bread in Mishawaka. The restaurant offers free high-speed wireless Internet access to customers and loans out wireless cards.
SOUTH BEND -- Free high-speed wireless Internet access is spreading among area public libraries and businesses.
Known as Wi-Fi -- short for Wireless Fidelity -- it provides computer users a convenient, fast Internet connection.
Anyone with a wireless-equipped laptop computer or a personal desk assistant (such as a Palm Pilot) can now access the wireless Internet for free at any St. Joseph County Public Library location.
Some county library sites have offered wireless service for several years, but the bring-your-own-computer service debuted this month at the library in downtown South Bend and all eight branches.
"It's here, it's free and you don't have to sign up to use it," said Bob Lewandowski, a county library technology trainer.
(Well done Bob!)
I am proud to say that during my leave, the good IT folks at my library finished making the whole library system wifi compatible!
Read about it here:
This morning, I'm IMing with SJCPL staffer Sean who said this week on his floor -- the magazine/fiction area --he saw a Powerbook user, a windows PC person doing homework AND a Palm user checking movie descriptions to find soimething in our AV department.
Welcome one and all to the Wireless World!
Having lunch at Dan Marino's and finding it's a Wifi Hotspot!
CJ at technobiblio, who consistently hits on stuff that gets me thinking and saying a "Wow" internally, has this fabulous post about ALA and wireless.
He writes: My dream - this "check-box" exists at the registration desk this year - Conference staff person: "Here is your scarlet letter (I mean canvas bag) with lots of junk that you will just throw away - and would you like wireless access while at the conference for only $25?"
Me: (all googly-eyed and blinded by the clouds parting and the angels singing): "Why, yes, I think I would."
Conference staff person: "Okay, please pay over there - where you can also purchase a wireless card if you do not have one and receive directions and assistance from a techno librarian buddy to get everything working."
Uh yeah! I want to be a "techno librarian buddy!" What's up withthis lack of connectivity and savvy at some of these big conferences? Time is not stopping for us folks. I want to be blogging from the third row of any darn meeting room I find myself in at any conference I might attend this year.
PLA really made me low at the lack of tech-savvy ANYTHING! Wireless was few and far between, costly and in weird places - McDonald's and their weird pricing structure comes to mind.
I'll be at ALA -- with my laptop. I'll be blogging a bit (and also having a ton-o-fun!) Our hotel has FREE wireless!! They want to attrract guests and furnish a service many travellers are expecting... Hmmm...
"And that's not even counting today's adults that are already sitting at Panera every morning, surfing while sipping."
Uh oh! That's me for sure!
I'm finishing up the first draft of my "technolust" article today. IMing with Jenny and reading over my notes, I've decided Kansas City is, in the words of Beck, "where it's at."
David King, cool IT/Web guy there just sent me this page for the KC initiative to get 100 wifi hotspots in KC, including some parks:"That's right - KC (the city) is providing free wireless access, through this company - http://www.flashnetwork.net/hotspots/ I think the goal is to have 100 hotspots in KC. They have about 87 now (some free, some not, I think). The cool thing is that some KC parks are now wired."
Cities, towns, burgs and villages - Please take note!