Wireless access in library

Lisa Ross

Bowling Green sophomore Matthew Young could be found at Helm-Cravens Library sipping a drink and typing away on a laptop over the weekend.

Young wasn’t held back with cords. Instead, he was using wireless Internet nodes to the library.

The nodes were installed during the summer to allow wireless Web access to students and others with laptops.

These nodes can be found on the fourth and fifth floors of Cravens, on the first and second floors of Helm and in the lobby where Java City is located.

Richard Kirchmeyer, vice president for Information Technology, said there are plans to make similar changes to other buildings on campus.

“We’re using this a sort of a pilot,” he said. “We’d like to eventually make the campus wireless from end to end.”

Kirchmeyer said the nodes cost about $1,200 each, but he didn’t know exactly how many were installed.

Young said he hasn’t had any problems with the new technology and that he feels the connection speed is fast.

“It’s greased lightning,” Young said.

Young invested money in stocks and said he needs to check on their progress every day.

“I have to make sure I’m not losing any money,” Young said. “It’s all about dollars.”

The library also purchased five wireless laptops costing a total $11,500.

“These laptops are IBM Thinkpads,” said Dan Forrest, coordinator of access services for the library. “They work in a manner similar to a cell phone.”

Students who own laptops can also use them in the library provided that they have wireless capabilities, he said. Those who do not own laptops can check one out for three hours from the circulation desk located on the fourth floor of Cravens.

The first time a student checks out a laptop he or she must show a student ID and fill out a form with basic information such as name, address and phone number.

“It’s a security thing,” Forrest said. “This way the next person to check them out could not read your e-mail or see a paper you were working on.”

Reach Lisa Ross at [email protected]