2021 Technology Service Considerations Discussion

March 31, 2020


Facilitator: Dan Jacobson

Please remember to mute your phones, unless you want to speak. Before speaking, please identify yourself.

#1 Different Models of Patron PCs

MRO: Has there been any thought to offer patrons basic and more advanced computers? For example, some patrons are frustrated because they can’t right click and others have too many options. It would be nice to meet the needs of patrons with differing abilities.

SCLS: We understand that the right click option not being available is frustrating. That ability offers access to many things that patrons should not have as it is a security issue. MS does not provide us the tools to remove options from the right click menu, for example access to the C: drive. It is a balance.

#2 Hot spots

SUN: We have patrons that don’t have any access to technology included devices and wifi. Is this something that we can pursue, especially now that most access is for digital materials.

SCA: The state has been looking into having libraries lend mobile hot spots if the costs are covered.

BLV: They loan two hot spots. There are grants available, but they do not have time to write them. Could SCLS assist with this?

SCA: There is different cellular coverage capacity per provider. For example in Lodi, there are only two fiber optics cables and they are owned by AT&T and US Cellular, so your Verizon device will not work well. SCLS met with the different cellular reps to find the best coverage. With the four main providers, we were able to provide coverage for most areas—though we cannot guarantee this for every building. A grant would have to cover multiple vendors.

ACL: They have two circulating hot spots. They are never idle and they are never abused because patrons don’t want to use this privilege.

SCA: Topics today are short term and long term. We can consider suggestions that are in consideration when libraries are open and closed.

#3 Review SCLS bylaws and policies

MPL: If libraries are closed, then SCLS needs to revise the scope of its services, such as how things are implemented. Specifically, network services to community organizations. How would planning for this occur? At what point would this be a reasonable solution?

The need for technology planning is as much on the policy side as the “nuts and bolts” side. We need policy that allows for this type of scenario. If this were in place now, what SCLS is doing now would look very different. This extends to SCLS bylaws and structure and how committees work, as well as advocacy for policies that govern what SCLS and systems can do.

SCA: As of right now, we are limited by our Badgernet contract. The service can only be available to libraries (and schools) and not other community organizations.

MPL: Right now, MPL limits the ability to maximize wifi access to serve the parking lots.

SCA: Projects tend to drive policy. It’s difficult to create a policy and then fit projects under it.

SUN: There was a broadband summit a number of years ago and there is more of a need than ever. This summit had representatives from ISPs, DPI and libraries. This discussion centered around education and students and patrons needing more broadband.

SCA: there will be money available in LSTA for technology, based on the “sparsity” formulas. Also, in Wisconsin E-rate funds were converted to rural broadband grants and libraries are encouraged to partner with an organization for these grants.

#4 TV White Space

ACL: TV White Space is when the TV signals went to digital, there are unused VHF and UHF bands that can carry data very far. There are some constraints because you need to have a “sender” and a larger than usual “receiver.”

#4 LINKcat mobile app

MPL: New replacement to the LINKcat app. (Additional support for this from “guest.”)

#5 VoIP Support

MPL: Support for VoIP on the network, for example something similar to a “magic jack.” (Multiple library support for this, MAR, BLV)

#6 Repurposing SCLS Devices

MPL: Such as access points, desktops, laptops, hot spots. This could be for library staff, public use, community use, one library to another.

#7 Security options for libraries

MPL: cameras, sensors, alarm systems, etc. for when they are closed (especially during extended periods).

#8 Support for library staff working remotely

MPL: for example a desktop for working remotely and hot spots for library staff.

#9 Low cost self checkout stations

SCA: Envisionware provides a software only solution and SCLS could provide equipment. (There is support from several libraries indicated on the chat.)

#10 Low cost patron computers

MPL: low cost patron computers or other devices available for patron loan

Beer vending machine (hah hah) (multiple shows of approval for this)

#11 MPL: Video conferencing solutions for libraries (such as Zoom, Bluejeans, etc.)

Thank you everyone for your contributions! This helps us create meaningful services.