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Library debuts wireless Internet service.

Byline: Priyanka Dayal

WESTBORO - Westboro's public library is now wireless, following the trend of public libraries across the state that are offering free Internet access to visitors with laptops.

Anyone with a laptop computer that has wireless capability can log onto the library's Wi-Fi connection and access the Internet, as well as the library's catalogues and databases. This frees up the library's desktop computers, which are heavily used by visitors.

The wireless connection works throughout the building, including the meeting room, reading room, children's room and study carrels.

"The beauty of it is you don't have to wait for a library computer," library director Carolyn Delude said.

Ms. Delude said wireless access is especially helpful to college students working on research papers. If they're working in a study carrel, they won't need to leave the space to log onto the Internet.

She said it's too early to tell if Wi-Fi service has affected who visits the library or how long they stay. "I think in the end it's another thing that will bring people to the library, because they can get their work done," she said.

Most college libraries offer wireless Internet access, and many public libraries are following suit.

Carolyn B. Noah, administrator of the Central Massachusetts Regional Library System, said wireless Internet access is especially important in small towns, where the library may be the only wireless building. She said in New Braintree, for instance, people drive to the library even when it's closed and log onto the Internet from the parking lot.

"People need it and want it," she said.

The cost of making the Westboro Public Library wireless was covered through library trust funds.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Feb 22, 2008
Words:278
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