Libraries Staying Connected To Patrons With Online and Outdoor Events

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, libraries continue to adapt and find creative ways to stay connected to their communities. From drive-in WiFi, grab and go book pickup, and modified services and programs, libraries are going above and beyond to meet the needs of patrons while staying connected online and outdoors.  If your library has outdoor space or a local park area available (and recommended safety guidelines are followed) outdoor programming paired with an online component would be a…


Curbside Books And Free WiFi

Libraries across the country continue to adapt services to meet patron needs. When the coronavirus took hold in March and public library buildings closed to the public, services continued in a new, modified format. Two of the most popular library services born out of this public health crisis are curbside pick-up programs and outside of the building WiFi use.  Curbside programs offer patrons a way to access resources and materials. Libraries offering curbside pick-ups keeps books and other…


Providing Free WiFi In Public Libraries Improves Communities

Internet access is considered a platform in which an individual can access the tools and skills necessary to improve their lives, participate in the economy, and access government. The possibility to connect to the Internet has been recognized in a number of countries as a human right, or at least as a core public interest utility. In this information and digital age, access to this digital economy is key for a person to survive and thrive. Yet millions of Americans lack internet access. This…


The Economic Impact Of WiFi Connection

Providing free WiFi in public libraries improves communities. Internet should be viewed as an investment, not a cost, to public institutions. This blog explores the theories that support these statements and outlines the research that proves the economic impact of a WiFi connection.  More than 200 hundred years ago, Adam Smith stated that “the wealth of nations included the acquired and useful abilities of all the inhabitants or members of the society.” Acquired abilities that are useful for…


Q3 Effects of COVID-19 on Public Library WiFi Use

WhoFi analyzed data from our library partners to determine the effect of COVID-19 on patron WiFi usage. This report includes our findings during Q3. We’re now seven months into the COVID pandemic, and public libraries continue to adapt to this new normal by reinventing their services to meet the current needs of their communities. These new innovations are taking place across the country. Libraries are bolstering their online collections and expanding access, enhancing access to public WiFi,…


9 Community Engagement Ideas for Public Libraries During COVID-19

This year has been challenging for public libraries and communities. Libraries were tasked with managing shutdowns while recreating their programming and services for an online space. Fortunately, libraries were well-equipped to manage the changes and meet community needs. Communities need their libraries more than ever. Public libraries are essential during these challenging times. Are you looking for ways your library can expand community engagement?  Here is a shortlist of ideas to enhance…


Navigating the Changing Landscape of Public Library Programming During COVID-19

Libraries across the country are stepping up in a time of crisis. As we continue to adapt to this new (ab)normal reality, libraries shift their programming model to reach beyond their physical buildings and provide essential services for their communities. How are librarians navigating the changing landscape of public library programming during COVID-19? Innovation during times of crisis can lead to lasting positive change for public library programming. Librarians are innovating new ways to…


Libraries Can Improve Patron Experience By Expanding Digital Services Using E-Rate Funding

According to FCC reports, 24 million people in the U.S. lack broadband internet access. In the coronavirus times, the need for internet access is more important than ever. So how can libraries maximize their resources to improve the patron experience? The FCC’s E-Rate funding is one solution. The E-Rate program makes telecommunications and information services more affordable for schools and libraries. The ongoing proliferation of innovative digital learning technologies and the need to connect…


Why Libraries Need High Speed Internet

During COVID-19, high-speed internet is a life-line — that millions of Americans lack. Libraries need high-speed internet to better serve communities. Lack of internet access in some communities has been a problem since the explosion of the internet. Now, during the coronavirus pandemic, lack of internet access is creating wider gaps between those with access, and those without.  It means the difference between students being able to get an education, or not. Workers being able to maintain…


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…