Aotearoa People's Network

WiFi returns to Whitianga

Mercury Bay Library, Whitianga
 Mercury Bay Library, Whitianga

Mercury Bay Library is situated in the pleasant coastal town of Whitianga in the Thames-Coromandel district.

It's not a large facility but offers all the services and activities you'd expect from a modern library. It has its own Facebook page and offers an ebook service. It has APNK PCs for library visitors to use and we're happy to say that, it now has free Wi-Fi... again.

Mercury Bay (along with Tairua and Thames libraries) joined the APNK in 2008 eventually taking up the optional Wi-Fi service we offer in February 2010. With only 2 PCs available for public use the provision of Wi-Fi allowed far more people in the community to enjoy free library Internet.

However in February this year the Mercury Bay Community Board, under pressure from a local Internet café owner, made the decision to discontinue free Wi-Fi access at the library. At the request of the Community Board we disabled Internet access from the Mercury Bay Library Wi-Fi hotspot.

We're happy to announce that following what Mercury Bay Library staff have referred to as "an outcry from the community", the Community Board has reversed its decision and free APNK Wi-Fi is again available at Mercury Bay Library.

We're pleased the Whitianga locals had their say and we think this shows that free Internet at libraries (including Wi-Fi) is a service that is of real, perceivable value to communities.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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