Operation Illiteracy

Posted by Sam Churchill on


Free Wi-Fi Access in public libraries is happening everywhere. Everywhere, it seems, but in my own Multnomah County Library.

At Multnomah Co. Library, patrons must wait 1/2 hour or so just to get access to a terminal – for one hour of internet access. Some patrons are mad as hell. And they vote.

A Gates Foundation grant appears to threaten some librarians. A paper repository may be a strategy to build an “empire” – but it comes at the expense of patrons.

Other communities give power to the people:

Libraries in Austin, Cleveland and in hundreds of other towns, big and small, provide free Wi-fi. It just makes sense.

Advantages:

    No waiting for a free PC
    No enforced time limits…connect as long as you like
    Spread out at a larger table in a quieter area of the building
    Fast access
    Download files
    Save your files permanently on your own device

Limitations:

    No printing services are generally available
    A WiFi network is less secure than a wired network
    Signal strength varies within the Library

I suggest “Operation Illiteracy” for operations like the Multnomah County Library.

Petitioners outside the Library hand out pamphets that proclaim “We Support Illiteracy – No Free Wireless Access”.

Patriot flags would be awarded to the library board.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Friday, August 8th, 2003 at 1:03 pm .

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