Guelph Public Library Bookmobile Takes Always-On Connectivity on the Road
The Guelph Public Library Bookmobile is a mobile library vehicle that provides services and library collections to daycares, senior residences, and neighbourhoods that are not in the vicinity of a library branch in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. By upgrading to Cradlepoint’s 4G LTE routing platforms, the Guelph Bookmobile now has stable, reliable, and highly available network connectivity.
The Guelph Public Library is one of the oldest public libraries in Ontario, Canada. Over 1,500 people use the library every day and check out more than 2 million resources annually. There are five Guelph Library branches in addition to their bookmobile, an initiative that first started in 1976. Today, the bookmobile brings books, DVDs, and more to specified locations throughout Guelph and runs on a busy two-week schedule. Patrons can use their library card to check out and return items just as they would inside the library building.
Several of the bookmobile’s scheduled stops are in locations across Guelph that have weak cellular coverage, so the library needed a solution to greatly amplify a cellular signal and provide a reliable network connection. It was vital for the connectivity to be stable and strong enough to connect the two on-board laptops for accessing patron accounts and connecting the wireless receipt printer to complete transactions. The solution Guelph was using prior to Cradlepoint had major limitations, a weak connection, and no management interface.
The IT operations personnel at Guelph Public Library installed a COR Series in-vehicle router in the bookmobile. This is a compact and fully ruggedized 4G LTE solution that is purpose-built for in-vehicle networking. The driver of the bookmobile is now able to serve the greater Guelph area and its scheduled stops 100 percent efficiently. The signal from the Cradlepoint device even allows the driver to exit the bookmobile and still receive service.
Since installing the Cradlepoint solution permanently in January 2017, the Guelph IT team has not had a single network disruption.
TIME & COST SAVINGS
With the Cradlepoint solution, the Guelph Bookmobile’s IT team has reduced operational truck rolls to zero.
“Before we installed the Cradlepoint, we were getting calls every single week to send someone out to diagnose network problems. Since we installed it, we haven’t had to send anyone out there.”
—Andrew Kwan, IT manager
Simply put, the Guelph Bookmobile did not have a solid network connection before installing the Cradlepoint solution. Now, they have a reliable and stable network connection at all times, wherever the vehicle goes.
“With the Cradlepoint, we can now easily broadcast multiple SSIDs off the COR IBR1100. Essentially, we can offer free WiFi, if we want to, wherever we go.”
EASE OF USE
Upgrading to Cradlepoint’s fully integrated router enables the Guelph Bookmobile to process check-outs and look up resources instantly and seamlessly—without having to exit the bookmobile.
“Before Cradlepoint, we used to run on an offline module where we had to download the database and put it on each individual laptop. Now that we have a strong VPN connection, the laptops can have real-time data for patron’s accounts when looking up holds and fines,” said Kwan.