Taking A Technology-Rich Library Experience On The Road
To bring library services to underserved populations and better serve the community, many library districts use mobile libraries (sometimes known as “bookmobiles”) to reach constituents who would otherwise be unlikely to visit a brick-and-mortar branch. High-performance Internet connectivity is integral to creating a technology-rich mobile library.
Librarians access cloud-based inventory services for updates and searches. Patrons utilize Internet-connected computers and mobile devices for online research and access to digital media. Citizens who are otherwise unable to obtain Internet access utilize the mobile library’s connectivity to apply for jobs, do homework, and read email.
However, deploying a network connectivity solution on the road presents a number of challenges:
- Rugged environments: Impacts of urban and rural roads and temperature extremes can quickly damage a routing device not built to withstand such conditions.
- Carrier coverage: Choosing the best carrier for constant mobile Internet coverage can be a guessing game.
- Network security: Ensuring secure, reliable connectivity, including dependable WiFi and firewall protection, can cause network visibility and management challenges when mobile libraries hit the road.