Discussion Group: Wireless

Description:
Wireless technology now has many faces. Join ITS members to discuss the various issues that we face with all the wireless devices and platforms. Non-wireless users and “thinking about it” persons are welcome too. The ITS business meeting is included.


Introduction to NELA-ITS, and what they do – work with and talk about technology, and plan an annual ITS Spring Technology workshop.

Wireless is very common in libraries today, so today’s session is an “in-person tech support session” with ITS tech staff.

Issues brought up:

Problem is with signing on with IE7 and/or Vista not with bluesocket connection (but okay with IE6 and/or Firefox).

  • check for firmware upgrades
  • check “security” settings in browser – try setting everything to default
  • check any other security settings (Norton, McAfee, etc)
  • Connecting to wireless with Vista has actually worked better than XP for ITS staff, as Vista recognizes a wireless connection and automatically locks down other areas of the computer to protect it

Wireless laptops in the library

  • Circulating laptops saves on room as they don’t require dedicated table space
  • Using wireless laptops as lookup stations in parts of the library that would be difficult to wire
  • Handling updates can be problematic, as they all need to be turned on and “unfrozen.” Perhaps leave them on overnight to let updates happen
  • Use same virus protect as on public computers
  • Think about using some kind of bandwidth limiting (or a packet shaper). Bluesocket can also do this

How to balance access and security?

  • Access should be as wide and freely-available as possible
  • Keep in mind that if a network is hacked, then all information on that network is potentially vulnerable
  • Weight likelihood of break-in (such as Coast Guard Academy or a college’s student network) with needs of the public

Wireless printing

  • Provide a link for patrons to download printer driver
  • Have a separate printer networked to the wireless router
  • Have patrons send document as email attachment to special email account
  • Keep a flash drive handy to move to a print-enabled computer

Turning off wireless connection at night?

  • Turn it off at night to keep people from hanging out in the parking lot
  • Police will sometimes prevent loitering, even though the connection is on
  • Seems to be bad publicity for library

Wireless network separate from staff network, to protect ILS and staff from external computers

  • currently using free Comcast network access
  • use VLAN

Network monitoring (if one person brings in an infected computer, just block that one person instead of shutting down the entire network) and a splash screen (patron must agree to Acceptable Use Policy)


ITS Annual Business Meeting

  • Rick Taplin is incoming Chair
  • Scott Kehoe is Vice-Chair
  • Marilyn Borgendale is secretary
  • Members-at-Large: Margaret Perkins and Brian Herzog
  • Kathy Lussier is outgoing Chair
  • NELA-ITS has a Yahoo group – sign up for meeting announcements
  • Usually meet bi-monthly in Shrewsbury, MA
  • Main activities is planning for Spring Conference, sessions for NELA Annual Conference, and a cookout at Rick Taplin’s house.
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One Response

  1. During the roundtable, I mentioned a couple of libraries in our region that are using Open Source software that can provide an authentication service, splash screen, bandwidth limits, etc. for wireless access. It’s called Zone CD Gateway and can be found at http://www.publicip.com. You install the software on a computer that sits between your wireless router and Internet connection. I can’t personally vouch for it, but if anyone is interested, leave a comment here and I can get you a contact for one of the libraries using it.

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