My first Computers in Libraries was in 2001. I was part of the organizing committee and was in charge of a track about a new amazing technology just getting into libraries, Wireless Networks (WiFi). Here is the description and schedule for the wireless track:
Track C • Systems: Wireless
This second day of our Systems stream focuses on the exciting new world of wireless. Although currently only 5 percent of colleges in the U.S. are fully wireless, they are certainly starting to embrace this technology just as other parts of America are too. This track provides case studies of libraries in many different environments which are utilizing new technology to deliver services and shares experiences and learnings.
Organized by Bill Drew Jr., Associate Librarian, Systems/Reference, SUNY Morrisville College Library
10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Extending Library Services with Wireless Networking
David P. Whelan, Director, ABA Legal Technology Resource Center
The use of wireless networking for laptop and hand-helds (PalmPilots, PDAs, etc.) can extend the technology reach of libraries and their service offerings. This session provides an introductory explanation of wireless technology, how it works, as well as a snapshot of what the technology offers in comparison to wired networks. It then looks at the technological considerations relating to the delivery of information to these mobile patrons, including security, content creation, and other issues raised in libraries currently using wireless technology. It closes with a look to the future of wireless technology, including Bluetooth and Hiperlan standards, and what developments managers and directors will need to anticipate.
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Library Service Delivery & Wireless
Denise Watkins, Information Analyst and Reference Librarian, Smithkline Beecham Pharmaceuticals Research and Development
Nancy Carroll-Klein, Senior Information Analyst, Smithkline Beecham Pharmaceuticals Research and Development
First we brought information to the desktop of the end users. Now, in our increasingly mobile workplace, more and more work is done away from the desktop and even the laptop. The exploding popularity of hand-held/personal digital assistants and other small wireless devices have made it possible for information to be portable and delivered in real time. This paper will focus on information delivery using hand-held computers using the Palm operating system. We explore the use of such hand-held devices to provide a set of stable ready-reference tools to corporate information users, away from the desktop, and to deliver realtime business critical alerts and personalized current awareness information. Is this a viable alternative in information delivery? Are there software tools and reputable content sources that can facilitate the provision of such information?
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Wired or Wireless for Success: Technology, Partners, Learnings
John Taube, Director, Allegany County Library System
Allegany County Library System (ALLCONET) has created a wide-area network using a system of wireless Ethernet microwave antennae that connects all of its branches to its automated library system and provides public access to the Internet. This session focuses on the cooperative partnerships and other key components necessary for implementation in a wide area wireless network. It describes the services for its many client groups and shares their experiences and learnings.
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
The Wireless Student In or Out of the Library
Wilfred (Bill) Drew Jr., Associate Librarian, Systems/Reference, SUNY Morrisville College Library
This session looks at how one library adapted to wireless and other laptop users. It provides an overview of the college network and computing infrastructure, the IBM ThinkPad University program, and background information gleaned from surveys of the student body. New services are highlighted, including changes in library instruction.
4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
This interactive session combines panel and audience ideas and experiences to envision a brave new wireless world for libraries. Come join the fun!
It is a different world now. WiFi is now considered a standard service for the majority of academic and public libraries. I am very proud of having been on the cutting edge of that breakthrough.