11/05/2010 - East Lothian Council implements wireless in all 12 libraries

East Lothian

Insight Media’s iCAM Wireless Access Control Solution allows people to get connected at their local library, following a project to install wireless internet access across East Lothian.  All 12 libraries are now offering Wi-Fi access, thanks to a £34,000 grant from the Scottish Government's Public Library Quality Improvement Fund.

Following a successful bid for Scottish Government funding to the Public Library Quality Improvement Fund (PLQIF) of £34,000, East Lothian Council Library Service has installed wireless internet access in all twelve local libraries.

Five companies submitted tenders for the work and Insight Media was chosen as the company who best met the criteria on functionality and price and was the only one with a proven record of working in the public library environment.

The implementation is based around Insight Media’s Public Access Internet Solutions which are delivered as a managed service.  Wireless access for users is provided through their iCAM Wireless Access Control and utilises Talis Keystone Borrower services to retrieve borrower information in real time for authentication.

Community Services spokesman, Cllr. Paul McLennan welcomed this initiative at the launch of the service at the award winning Prestonpans Library.  He said:  

"This initiative builds on the access the public have to free Internet facilities in all of our libraries. Customers, visitors and business people will be able to use our libraries as Wi-Fi hotspots, providing access right across the county. We were delighted to receive this funding from the Public Library Improvement Fund to improve our service to the public."

Principal Libraries Officer, Alison Hunter explained,

"We ran a pilot Wi-Fi project in Haddington Library which was hugely successful and demonstrated the demand for Wi-Fi in our libraries. We received many enquiries from memberfs of the public about expanding Wi-Fi facilities through our other libraries. The Widening Opportunities with Wireless (WOW) project arose from this and from the self evaluation of our information services to the public."

The Scottish Government's Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said:  

"Our local libraries can improve services and access to the public whilst offering great value for money. This funding from government allows East Lothian to do exactly that.   I welcome the expansion of free digital services which will increase people's skills and knowledge and help Scotland to become a smarter nation."

The PLQIF is administered by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), the advisory body to Scottish Ministers on library and information matters. This development will bring greater access to information on the web, including the range of on-line information resources, which the library service provides free to its members.