Thursday, June 22, 2017

Huron Public Library one of nine winners of "Beyond The Walls" awards

The Gigabit Libraries Network (GLN), in partnership with San Jose State University's School of Information (iSchool), announced earlier this month that a total nine projects will receive funding and support to expand the Libraries WhiteSpace Project.

Sponsorship for the campaign originated through a grant from the Institute of Museum' and Library Services (IMLS): "Libraries Leading in Digital Inclusion and Disaster Response via TV WhiteSpace Wireless Connections."

Five libraries in the nation, including the Huron Public Library, will receive awards under the IMLS grant.

The Huron Public Library will receive $15,000 to develop Wi-Fi service to city parks through the TV WhiteSpace project. They are also developing a disaster plan where the portability of the technology will be able to assist emergency responders during a time of need.

These funds will underwrite the costs of equipment and installation for libraries who've initiated partnership projects with other community institutions to explore and develop innovative uses for TV WhiteSpace (TVWS) network technologies to support remote fixed and portable library access points at new locations in their communities starting this summer.

Like WiFi, TVWS units use free open spectrum, requiring no third party carriers, ongoing fees, licenses or other permissions for use as wide area intra-facility networks. But unlike WiFi, TVWS has long range and penetrative capabilities that can support broadband connections over miles and around or through obstructions like trees and buildings.

"This may be the first time the economics of any infrastructure has favored rural areas because they typically have an abundance of valuable open public spectrum. The time has arrived for the country to finally take advantage of this powerful new communications resource, too long in the making," notes project Co-director, Don Means of the Gigabit Libraries Network.

Other libraries receiving the IMLS grant award were in Maine, Georgia, Nebraska, and Washington. Additional participating libraries were in Michigan and Pennsylvania.