Park Forest Library Gone Wireless

Park Forest Library

Park Forest, IL – (ENEWSPF) – The Park Forest Public Library, which serves the communities of Park Forest and Olympia Fields, has gone wireless.  In an interview with eNews Park Forest, the Library's Network Administrator Mitchell Cox, commented on the wireless internet access, "It's free.  It's open."  Mr. Cox, who has been with the Library for more than 15 years, built the network from the ground up.  "When I started, we had one Mac and one PC," he said.  He commented on getting the wireless network up and running, “It didn’t take long to set up.  It was mostly setting it up and testing it over a period of time and making sure it’s working properly and making sure it reaches all areas of the library where a patron would be apt to use it.”

The wireless network is accessible from anywhere inside the Library, “We use two access points in the Library.  They cover all the patron areas in the library.”

Asked if the network is running smoothly, he replied, “Haven’t had any problems with it since we put it in.  We went live September 1st.  We had it up and running before we announced it.”

The wireless network offers speeds equal to those which users might encounter in their offices or home networks, “We’re running up to 54 megabytes per second, even though they might never connect at that, that would be the high end. I’ve picked up a signal outside.  It depends on where you are.  Our goal is for in the library, not out.”

Mr. Cox also gave some specifics on the technical aspects of the network, “It runs on the same frequency spectrum as cordless phones, the 2.4 gigahertz spectrum, where there’s a lot of things there, so anything in that spectrum can potentially disrupt the signal.  It depends on your building, and what it’s made of.  The higher your access point is, the better it carries.”  He commented on the success of the system, “This is not the easiest building in the world because there are so many sections.  Luckily we were able to do this with 2 access points.  This is a good service.”

Mr. Cox said there are actually two networks online at the Library, “We have a T-1 connection.  We also have a private wireless network in place for some of the library computers.  I’m actually running two wireless networks in the building, one private and one public.”

He said that connecting is simple, “If your laptop finds it, you should be able to just click on it, and it will give you an IP address, and away you go.”

The Library is open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to  5 p.m., and Sundays from September through May from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.