what a waste of my time: WiFi at your public library

Does anyone else see a problem with your public library not providing enough bandwidth to load GMail or GoogleDocs?

I just finished crafting a very formal email of complaint to my local library for not meeting the needs of patrons today with adequate WiFi.  I am currently enrolled in two hybrid (face-to-face + online) graduate courses in Instructional Technology (a field very closely related to Library-Information Sciences.  I came to my public library today to get away from the enticing (yet costly) aromas, distractions and bustle of the local coffeeshops only to find that my public library can’t support a WiFi network with enough bandwidth for me to study, write or even collaborate with online tools.

Schools today struggle with security policies and other user-related issues when considering opening wireless access to students.  Students are in the school building for close to eight hours; closing off something like the wireless access password just makes a challenging game of sorts for many students.  Of course they will find sites that are not “educational” either way.

However, when the traditional domain for research and study (a public library where people must voluntarily venture to seek information, etc.) cannot even provide the access to do just that, well, then, patrons (in the all-inclusive manner of the term — students, parents of students, seniors, enthusiastic readers) should be questioning what held back their library from evolving.  Today, I ask just that, and especially from as prestigious a library district to which I belong.

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