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Wireless Update: A Public Services Perspective

Wireless Update: A Public Services Perspective

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Wireless Update: A Public Services Perspective

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  1. Wireless Update: A Public Services Perspective NELA October 27, 2003

  2. Wireless Update: A Public Services Perspective • The Simmons Wireless Network • Wireless Devices Patrons are Using • Getting Patrons Online: Configuration • What are Library Patrons Using Wireless for?

  3. Enterasys Networks • RoamAbout Wireless LAN • As part of the Simmons network upgrade, Enterasys included 10 access points • Wi-Fi: 802.11b • Operates in the 2.4Ghz spectrum • Range is about 300 ft • Supports speeds up to 11Mbps

  4. Laptops: Library Loans IBM ThinkPads The e-mail Web navigation key is programmed to open the Simmons Webmail page

  5. What Devices are Patrons Using to go Wireless? Smart Phones Laptops PDAs Tablets

  6. Tablet PCs

  7. PDAs: Not Automatically Wireless 1. Wireless modem/ISP 3. Built-in WiFi 2. Wireless Card

  8. PDAs: Infrared to Network Using the infrared port, can share information with other users, called beaming – no wires, no direct connections

  9. Getting Patrons Online: Configuration • Initially: Register MAC; get SSID. Lots of librarian time! • Now: NoCatAuth; anyone can get to the network, but must authenticate to get to the internet; links to campus central database using LDAP – same patron log in as their email. Virtually no librarian time!

  10. Getting Patrons Online

  11. Like DHCP on the laptops, the PDA is configured by default to obtain a Simmons IP dynamically, that is, at the time of connection, instead of being permanently assigned a specific IP

  12. in my office… : (

  13. out in the hallway…

  14. right above the access point!

  15. Wireless Limitations: Security • All network traffic on the Simmons College wireless network is not encrypted and is "in the clear" and is visible to others on the wireless network, authenticated or not.   • The wireless network attempts to limit traffic that would ordinarily expose passwords and other sensitive information, like using POP and IMAP for email, and using telnet and ftp.   • The following network services and ports are currently open, upon authentication, on the wireless network: • http (port 80, 8080) • https (port 443) • ssh (port 22) • imap-ssl (port 993)

  16. Why Wireless? What Functions Are Library Patrons Using on PDAs? • PDA-friendly Web Pages • PDA Library Content: Reference, Ebooks • PDA Library Content:Journals and Databases • Web Searching • Integrated Library Systems (OPACs and more)

  17. Wireless PDA-Friendly Content

  18. What “PDA-friendly” content looks like on the regular desktop

  19. What web content looks like on a typical Palm

  20. Content adapted for a Wireless PDA: changes often or referenced frequently The Lincoln Trail Library System (Champaign, IL) provides library hours, contact information, upcoming events, and directions for over 140 of its member and affiliate branches The Cunningham Library (Indiana State University, Terre Haute) provides a materials locator—a PDA guide to help patrons find items in the library stacks The University of Georgia Libraries (Athens GA) has a PDA page that provides directions, operating hours, a browsable guide to Library of Congress (LC) call numbers with floor locations, an Ask a Question e-mail reference form.

  21. PDA-friendly Pages

  22. Wireless PDA Library Content: Reference Materials • Licensed or free • Examples: health textbooks, reference books • Physician's Desk Reference • "5-Minute Clinical Consult" series

  23. Wireless PDA Library Content: Ebooks • PDA versions of popular titles, from the latest Michael Crichton novel to The Hours by Michael Cunningham, at, which includes "Handheld Compatible" in its product descriptions • Eighteen-hundred publicly available e-books can be downloaded from the University of Virginia Library's Etext Center. • Vendors are providing site or enterprise licenses, and jobbers such as YBP/Baker & Taylor are now stocking popular titles. This allows librarians to make institutional purchases through traditional purchase orders

  24. Wireless PDA Library Content: Journals & Databases • Many journals or current news web sites have implemented PDA versions: e.g Wiley Interscience MobileEdition uses the AvantGo site to provide access to tables of contents from 15 of its core journals. • Third-party vendors are aggregating information from many sources, such as JournalToGo, which brings together content from key health and medical sources and provides clinical abstracts and healthcare news customized according to a user's setup. • Commercial databases are becoming PDA-friendly


  26. Ovid@Hand: Electronic Journals and Tables of Content

  27. PubMed on Tap Initial Results Search

  28. Locating Web Content on a Wireless PDA

  29. Integrated Library Systems on Wireless PDAs • Interfaces for the online catalog for small screens – PDAs or cell phones • Beaming of circulation records • ILS: • Innovative Interfaces (III) • Dynix • Endeavor


  31. Wireless Update: A Public Services Perspective Presentation & Links: Megan Fox Web & Electronic Resources Librarian Simmons College