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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