For customers tired of waiting in line to surf the Internet at county libraries, Internet access just got easier.
Vicki Blair (front) works on one of the desktop computers at Gibbs Library. The library recently installed wireless Internet service so people with laptop computers don't have to wait for one of the desktop computers to become available.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Gibbs Library in Evans is now offering wireless Internet access to customers who have a laptop computer and a wireless card.
"It really expands our ability to offer computer access to people," Christina Rice, Gibbs' library director, said, mentioning that the service has been running for about three weeks and offers an unlimited amount of usage.
Rice said the need to offer the service was based on a growing trend in the county.
"There are so many other places locally and nationwide that have that service," she said. "It was a progressive thing to do."
Residents can also get similar service benefits at Taco Bell restaurants in the Augusta area, including Columbia County.
"We just wanted to make that service available to customers," said Tony Mobley, the information technology manager for Border Masters in Augusta, adding that the service, which was implemented a year ago, has helped increase business in chain-restaurants.
Most of the people that use the service are usually surfing the Internet, checking e-mails or are travellers who want to send a digital photo to a friend or family member, he said.
"I've only heard positive feedback."
Although wireless access is becoming more popular in the area, Lewis Foster, the county's Information Technology manager, said that's not the case for the county.
"We are not planning to implement (Internet) wireless for public access. Government shouldn't be interfering in private sectors," he said. "We're going to start utilizing wireless for internal networks and secure access points, but that's pretty much (it)."
Funding for the service at Gibbs, which cost $2,000, was provided by the library board.
Upon a March opening of a new 32,000-square-foot library next to the Evans Government Complex, Rice said Gibbs will close and the Evans library will have wireless access. All of Gibbs' equipment will be placed in the Harlem Library, which also will offer wireless Internet access. Euchee Creek Library is expected to have the wireless service in the coming weeks.
"I think it's going to be a popular thing," Rice said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.