Harris County Public Library has Wireless Internet Access in all 26 branch libraries across Harris County. Library users with wireless-ready laptop computers can bring their own laptop PCs with them to any branch library and log on to the Internet. There is no charge for using the Library’s high-speed network connection.
The enhanced connectivity was made possible through grant funds from the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF). This was a highly competitive grant that required grantees to address public library services, programs, and materials by increasing access to their collections and services. The grants that were awarded showed promise of advancing learning, improving public access, and building partnerships in the state through collaboration.
In addition to the “Bring your Own Laptop” wireless Internet connections, the grant funds were used by Harris County Public Library to make laptop PCs available for loan in all 26 of the library’s branch locations. Laptops can be checked out for use inside the libraries for 2-hour loan periods. In addition, two collaborative projects with area school districts will provide external wireless linkage between the school and library campuses as well as notebook computers for loan in two school library media centers.
Since its creation in 1995, TIF has awarded more than $1.2 billion in grants to its four constituent groups- public schools, libraries, institutions of higher education, and public, not-for-profit healthcare facilities. For more information, contact TIF at (512) 475-5300 or 888-533-(TIFB) 8432. Additional information, including lists of all grantees and future grant opportunities, is available at http://www.tifb.state.tx.us.
Use Your Laptop @ the Library
You need the following:
- A laptop or PDA
- A wireless network card installed in the device. The network card must be capable of supporting the 802.11b wireless networking standard.