MARQUETTE – Wireless access is now available at Peter White Public Library for Northern Michigan University patrons using their NMU-issued laptop computers.

The collaborative effort was a win-win proposition for both parties. By installing a wireless antenna at the downtown library, Northern could extend the reach of its network and related services to an off-campus location with a high concentration of students and staff. For Peter White Public Library, the joint venture offered a dual benefit of improving customer service and reducing demand on its own network.

“We have provided Internet access to patrons with laptops since November 2002,” said Claire Rose, coordinator of career and technology resources. “About 80 percent of these users are NMU students or employees. We were experiencing some problems with bandwidth due to laptop users and were looking for an alternative way of serving some of these folks. Now they can move around the building without being constrained by the ports.”

Library director Pamela Christensen contacted NMU provost Fred Joyal to see if the university would be willing to provide a wireless hot spot for NMU patrons in the library.

“We thought it made perfect sense because Peter White Public Library serves a large number of Northern students – particularly those who live in that part of town,” Joyal said. “With the wireless access in the building, NMU computer users can connect to our network and access servers that would not be available to them if they were on the library’s Internet. This will bring them campus services they’re entitled to and free up the library’s bandwidth for other patrons.”

Don Salo, a telecommunications network specialist at NMU, was responsible for the installation.

“We put in a bridge between Pine Ridge and the library and two access points in the library itself,” Salo said. “It went smooth as silk and the Peter White staff was great to work with.”

The Peter White Public Library “hot spot” is one of many that are being installed and tested by NMU within the city of Marquette to provide high-speed, off-campus network access for students, faculty and staff. Access to basic university information and services is free to the public, but Internet access is restricted and requires a university user ID and password.

Users of the network need to connect the NMUCLC SSID for basic services.  Internet access requires a one-time Virtual Private Network (VPN) client download. For more information on the NMU Connected Learning Community network, or NMUCLC, visit http://nmuclc.nmu.edu.

Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director