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Library waives wireless requirement
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Forsyth County News

Visitors to the Forsyth County Public Library won’t need a card to go wireless anymore.

The library board voted 4-0 on Wednesday to remove the requirement to enter a card number to access wireless Internet.

The change to the “Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy” will allow anyone with a laptop or other personal device to receive a free connection within any of the three branches without a library card.

The move was prompted by some issues with visitors’ electronic readers, or eReaders, not being compatible with the library’s system, said director Jon McDaniel.

“When people started bringing in their eReaders, they couldn’t download from our Overdrive site to their hand-held reader because we were requiring them to enter their bar code and pin,” McDaniel said. “And that confused Overdrive’s process and they rejected [the download].”

The more basic readers that don’t have “full interactive browsers” but are designed just to download eBooks had the difficulties, said Holly Barfield, assistant director for information technology.

“With that requirement, it can’t get past that barrier to be able to download the book while they’re inside our library,” Barfield said.

McDaniel said fewer people are asking for guest passes to use the Web on the library’s computers anyway, so removing the card requirement for wireless access shouldn’t have much impact.

The change will also reduce staff time in setting up visitors with guest passes to access the Web, he said.

Library data showed that interest in the eBooks collection has grown quickly, increasing 846 checkouts last June to 4,469 this June, said Stephen Kight, assistant director for public services.