Special Report Update: Effects of COVID-19 on Public Library WiFi Use

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, WhoFi released a special report about the effects of COVID-19 on public library WiFi use.  We analyzed library WiFi usage during March – the month that many libraries closed their buildings. This report consisted of consolidated data from our library partners across the U.S. to provide a better understanding of the national response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the effect on public library WiFi use.  A PLA survey report showed that 98% of libraries closed to…


Community Is Bigger Than A Building

Public libraries across the nation are struggling to reopen their doors, with 47% saying they’re unsure when they will reopen to the public. Libraries are places of community and connection for everyone. People rely on the library for more than books and videos. Libraries offer social services like literacy programs, U.S. citizenship classes, continuing education, housing, and tax assistance. Libraries have also become a safe haven for people experiencing homelessness who need to access social…


stay connected to communities

5 Ways To Stay Connected To Your Community Even With Closed Doors

Human connection is something we inherently know we need, in some capacity, because of the very nature of our being. We are social creatures and rely on one another – our community – for survival. We need to stay connected to communities. Now that we aren’t gathering in public places, nurturing the community beyond the building is crucial.  Here are 5 ways public libraries can stay connected to their communities while doors are closed to the public. 1. Curb-side pick-up Many libraries started…


How Do Communities Stay Connected When COVID Forces Us Apart?

Public spaces bring people together. Both urban and rural communities share a commonality–the collective use of shared spaces available to all members of the community. Public spaces like community centers, parks, and libraries are staple gathering places in every community. Other communal spaces like co-working co-ops and coffee shops bring people together, too.  When the coronavirus began to sweep across the country, once-bustling spaces became vacant. An eerie depiction of the effects the…


The New Normal of Remote Work

Everyone has probably heard the phrase ‘the new normal’ since the COVID-19 outbreak. Every aspect of our lives has changed. At the front and center of this new normal is remote work. We’ve kept businesses running by creatively serving customers and clients while ensuring people are safe while working. From the breakdown of old structures emerges a new way of navigating life–a new normal.  A seismic shift in work and home life Our work and home life quickly became intertwined. Many people…


Navigating The Next Phase of COVID-19 Library Service

It’s now officially summer, and we’re approaching nearly three months since statewide shutdowns were in place. The impact on daily life certainly has been jarring. For many families and individuals, the public library is a mainstay in our lives. Visiting our local library was part of a regular routine. While nothing can replace the real-world library experience, libraries have done an excellent job adapting to continue to serve communities. Creative ideas keep communities connected–like…


Urban and Rural Comparison Analysis: Effects of COVID-19 on Public Library WiFi Use

As we set out to gather data on the library WiFi usage numbers amid the COVID-19 health crisis, we analyzed the effects of COVID-19 on public library WiFi use in urban and rural areas. We wanted to know the effects of COVID-19 on public library WiFi use by population size. For this comparison, we consolidated data from our library partners to identify trends in service areas based on population size. We want to know if library WiFi usage changed by population size and if so by how much. Did…


Timeline: Effects of COVID-19 on Public Library WiFi Use

We analyzed data from our library partners to understand the effects of COVID-19 on public library WiFi use. We intended to determine how, or if, the spread of COVID-19 affected public library WiFi usage and patron behavior. And if it did, how, when, and why did patron behavior change. This analysis includes all population sizes and service areas of our library partners.  Our data shows that between the first week and last week of March, visitor usage dropped significantly, then leveled. It’s…


Effects of COVID-19 on Public Library WiFi Use

Public libraries adapt to the needs of their local communities. This has proven to be true in the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyzed data from our library partners to understand the effects of COVID-19 on public library WiFi use. While 98% of public libraries closed their doors to the public by the end of March, libraries quickly adapted to continue service. These changes came in many forms, one of which is the continuation of free WiFi service. This report takes a detailed look at WiFi usage…


Library Parking Lots Become WiFi Hotspots In Response To COVID-19 Closures

Drive up, pick a spot and open your laptop. Drive-in WiFi is an emerging trend in response to public spaces closing due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s a scene reminiscent of drive-in movies, except people are using WiFi from inside their car, instead of enjoying a film while comfortably seated on the grass.  The outbreak of COVID-19 shuttered businesses and public spaces across the world. While we all stay at home to slow the spread, many of us remain comfortably connected to the internet. Yet…