Sunday, November 04, 2007

Access to wireless Internet at the new library

Our town is in the process of building a new library building. Through grants, donations, and volunteer labor we hope to move in to the building early 2008. It is 3 times bigger than the current facility, and will be a great asset to the community.

My wife, the librarian, has discussed with her board of trustees about the possibility of offering wireless Internet service. This would allow a person to come in with their laptop with wireless capabilities and log on. In fact, a person could park outside nearby and log on with their laptop, too.

Because the library is currently only open 16-1/2 hours a week, a traveler through town with a laptop and a need to log on will probably not catch my wife at the library when they need access, and therefore having the ability to log on just outside would be a real positive.

One trustee, however, is concerned that someone could drive up, log on, and surf porno sites via the library's service. Therefore, she wants to limit the power of the signal strength to operate just inside the library's walls. Theoretically, patrons can be "monitored" while inside the library to make sure they are not on inappropriate sites, but control cannot be extended to outside the walls.

Is this too reactionary?

Her response reminds me of about 15 years ago when our church was discussing the construction of a new church building. One old member was worried that during the construction phase kids would hang out there and drink beer, and that we needed to hire guards to watch the place.

Maybe the trustee should also take out a robot insurance policy.


Blogger Dorf said...

Shut it down after library hours.

Even the basic wireless router allows you to set timers.

Not sure if there will be an internal library network or not where they will store data and stuff, but also try to make sure the wireless network is seperate from the internal network. You don't want somebody connecting then trying to swipe any important data off the library servers.. if such data exists.

10:08 PM, November 04, 2007  
Anonymous Russ from Winterset said...

Or, as an alternative, have the speed restricted to "dial-up equivalent" during off hours. You know how frustrating it is trying to surf pr0n at dial-up speed? They'll give up & go away after the first half hour or so. That way, the library resources are available to residents at off-hours, but at a speed that's less than optimal for illicit viewing but fast enough for most data transfer.

PS - you got your beans out yet?

4:16 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger bgunzy said...

Russ, that's an idea. It would be fast enough to get email, check Drudge, etc, but sloooow enough that their "spanktravision" couldn't be obtained very quickly.

By the end of the week we should have beans done. We'd be done by now but I did some custom corn harvesting and finished 100 of corn at one farm before switching back to beans.

6:10 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Russ from Winterset said...

We got ours out by the last weekend in October, but we only had about 100 acres. Dad's cousin did enough corn to fill the dryer bin, switched to the bean head to do all the beans, then ran home to do all his beans too. He started filling the old bin across the road (I hear a lot of the corn around us is coming in around 13 1/2% now, so drying isn't necessary) on Friday, and I think he's about half done with the rest of the corn at our home place by now.

The south place is all hay & grazing this year, so we don't have to rush to do anything down there right now.

10:01 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Mango said...


That rhymes with PORN

And that starts with P

And that rhymes with T

And that stands for TROUBLE

Right here in Humeston City!

7:48 AM, November 07, 2007  
Blogger bgunzy said...

Could be worse - CORN PORN!

Oh baby, your stalk is sooo...upright!

Sorry, that's in bad taste.

12:15 PM, November 07, 2007  
Blogger Tamara said...

first of all, the traveler would have to know that the library offers the wireless service before he would stop and sit in his truck looking at porn.

4:38 PM, November 08, 2007  
Anonymous Russ from Winterset said...

I don't think they're worried about strangers surfing porn. Based on my small town upbringing (not as small as Humeston, but small nontheless), I'm sure the board member had a PARTICULAR local resident in mind when she raised those objections. Of course, in the typical small town way, she couldn't actually SAY who she was worried about, so the blame fell on "outside agitators" or the like.

8:10 AM, November 09, 2007  
Blogger Mango said...

Ah-ha! An illuminating insight, Russ.

8:45 AM, November 09, 2007  
Anonymous Russ from Winterset said...

Besides, Humeston's a little too far from Interstate 35 to worry too much about an avalanche of pr0n-watching strangers. Now if we're talking Lamoni or Osceola, then that's another story.

10:07 AM, November 09, 2007  
Blogger bgunzy said...

It was thought that we could advertise the fact we have wireless Internet for those traveling down the Mighty Highway 65. This would be a plus if we were ever able to score a spot on RAGBRAI's route (not a camp town, but somewhere in between).

Yeah, somehow I think free wireless Internet anywhere near the McDonalds in Osceola would lead to bad things...

7:40 PM, November 09, 2007  

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