From left: Muy-Cheng Peich, Jim O'Donnell, and Ann Okerson

IFLA: Providing Access without Connection

August 28, 2019

This session, chaired by Ann Okerson, senior advisor on electronic resources at the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago, featured presentations by members of the Offline Internet Consortium: IFLA, Bibliothèques Sans Frontières (BSF), and Arizona State University (ASU). Presenters showcased initiatives and programs that bridge the digital divide by providing resources and access to networked … Continue reading IFLA: Providing Access without Connection


Illustration of library in field receiving signals from towers (Illustration: © Auguste Lange/Adobe Stock)

Wi-Fi in the “White Space”

May 1, 2019

But the library is reaching them using an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant. The grant provides broadband Wi-Fi service to Huron’s parks through unused parts of the television broadcast spectrum. Often called “white spaces,” these parts of the spectrum were freed up when most broadcasters switched from analog to digital signals in … Continue reading Wi-Fi in the “White Space”


Panelists at Blockchain, Open Civic Data, and TV White Space

Blockchain, Open Civic Data, and TV White Space

February 11, 2018

Sue Alman, a full-time lecturer at the SJSU iSchool, outlined her study of how libraries can use blockchain technology in support of city or community goals. Blockchain, most closely associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is a highly secure ledger system that records digital transactions. Alman said that her goal is to engage in a … Continue reading Blockchain, Open Civic Data, and TV White Space


Mobile Beacon, which provides mobile Wi-Fi devices (pictured above) and grants to libraries and other organizations for Wi-Fi lending programs, is one of the nonprofits that has filed a lawsuit against Sprint over a contract dispute. Photo: Mobile Beacon

Temporary Injunction Extended to Transition Libraries to New Wi-Fi Network

February 3, 2016

Last November, Educational Broadband Service-designated providers Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen successfully requested the court impose a 90-day injunction on Sprint’s plan to shut down its WiMax network and transition customers to the LTE network. Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen said they needed the injunction because contract negotiations collapsed with Sprint, which bought their former … Continue reading Temporary Injunction Extended to Transition Libraries to New Wi-Fi Network


OITP Deputy Director Larra Clark asks how many people in the audience are logged into the conference center's Wi-Fi

Washington Office Update

January 10, 2016

Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff started by noting “how important your voice is in the successes ALA achieves,” specifically citing the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act in December. Sheketoff said lawmakers were able to get library-friendly requirements into the bill because ALA members made the effort to call and write to their … Continue reading Washington Office Update


Mobile Beacon, which provides mobile Wi-Fi devices (pictured above) and grants to libraries and other organizations for Wi-Fi lending programs, is one of the nonprofits that has filed a lawsuit against Sprint over a contract dispute. Photo: Mobile Beacon

Temporary Injunction Keeps Affordable Internet Access at Libraries

November 5, 2015

Updated Nov. 6, 2015 with Sprint’s statement. Mobile Citizen and Mobile Beacon, which provide unlimited broadband access for $10 per month to 61 libraries, 429 schools, and 1,820 nonprofits, requested the emergency relief order after negotiations stalled between Sprint and the nonprofits in October over the terms of the transfer to the new network. Sprint … Continue reading Temporary Injunction Keeps Affordable Internet Access at Libraries


New mobile hotspot users attend a launch event at New York Public Library’s Mott Haven branch.

Bridging the Tech Gap

September 11, 2015

For years, libraries have helped bridge the digital divide by offering internet access at brick-and-mortar branches. Many are expanding this mission by offering patrons mobile Wi-Fi hotspots for checkout. New York City launched a program this year that provides 10,000 mobile hotspots to patrons across three library systems, and in 2014, Chicago Public Library rolled … Continue reading Bridging the Tech Gap


A Tale of Two Cities opening slide

Closing the Gap

June 28, 2015

The session, sponsored by the Library Information and Technology Association, offered two examples of public libraries that are experimenting with lending Wi-Fi hotspots to users in high-need communities in an effort to close the broadband adoption gap. Swarthout began the session by explaining how NYPL came to be a lender of Wi-Fi hotspots. He cited … Continue reading Closing the Gap