Boone County Public Library

2021•01 - BCPL Newsletter

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discover... BOONE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY JANUARY 2021 L Boone County Public Library BCP #CheckOutBCPL Discover Boone County Public Library . . .because a pandemic doesn't stop the Library. The Pandemic is causing the digital divide to take its toll on Boone County. The switch to work-from- home, telehealth, and virtual schooling brings to light the lack of internet access in our community. A working group was formed by the Library to focus on digital inclusion in Boone County in an effort to alleviate the strain placed on families. After hearing the recommendations of the working group, the Library Board of Trustees voted to amend the Library's Capital Projects Budget to include money to create the Wide-Area Mesh Network. The cost of the equipment to create the network is $16,000. The first stage of the project calls for the Library to bolster the Wi-Fi signal surrounding our six locations by increasing the indoor access points and installing outdoor Wi-Fi access points. Think of each library location sitting in the center of a circle with a 1,000 foot diameter. Once the equipment is in place, the secure Wi-Fi network will be available within those circles. There will still be access outside the 1,000 feet; however, as with anything Wi-Fi, connectivity outside those circles is dependent on location, surroundings, and any other interference resulting in reduced speed. The second stage of the project would be to share this signal with partners in the community. From working with schools in Boone County, we know that approximately 11% of students lack internet access with the largest digital divide in the Florence area. BCPL has partnered with the City of Florence to get Wi-Fi to households in the community that do not have an internet connection. The Florence Branch serves as the pilot site for the Wide-Area Mesh Network, and the partner location is the Historic Firehouse on Main Street in Florence. A Wi-Fi antenna will be mounted at both locations to share the Library's Wi-Fi network with the Historic Firehouse. The Library's circle will now touch the circle at the Historic Firehouse, each with a diameter of 1,000 feet. Together these two circles will reach about 200 households in the Florence area. Eventually, additional antennas can be daisy-chained out to create a larger network of access. The network acts as if the user is actually in the Library, so it is secure with content filters as well as security encryption in place to stop hackers. The Wide-Area Mesh Network is an effort to reduce the digital divide in our community making necessary and social connections a little less stressful. Lack of internet access leads to BCPL's Wide-Area Mesh Network Black #000000 Notes: Always use the full wordmark unless you're explicitly speaking to or marketing the iOS or Android app iOS icon Wordmark (always use full word) Android Icon t icon White #000000 Blue #001935 iOS icon Wordmark (always use full word) Android Icon t icon

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