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…


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…


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WhoFi Library Edition Makes PLS Reporting Easy

The Public Library Survey report is due in the coming months. Your WhoFi Library Edition makes it simple to report accurate WiFi usage data. The accurate data provides accurate insights into your library's community impact. The Library Edition provides a consistent collecting and reporting standard across state public libraries to better understand how patrons are using their locations. This data provides insights to guide decisions for things like strategic planning, day to day operations,…


Public Libraries Continue To Serve Communities While Closed to The Public

  As of March 17, 2020, the ALA executive board recommends closing public libraries to the public. This message comes as many cities enforce closings for public places to prevent further spread of the COVID-19 virus. This public health crisis further illuminates the digital divide and the need for equal access to information. While our library customers are closing their physical location to protect the health of patrons and the entire community, many are choosing to make WiFi access…