Oakland library goes wireless

Tuesday November 20, 2001

OAKLAND — The Oakland Public Library is introducing a wireless local area network that will connect 120 computers in 17 sites. 

The network was made possible by a $100,000 Urban Challenge Grant from 3Com Corp. 

“We do have computer labs at the main library which most branches don’t have because of wiring and limited space constraints,” said community relations librarian Kathleen Hirooka. “What we needed in some of the tight areas was the ability to have some flexibility in moving the computers around.” 

The wireless LANs that will be installed use radio frequencies to transmit data. A LAN PC card communicates with a wireless access point that is connected to the wired network via standard cabling. In this specific case the card can send and receive data a distance of up to about 300 feet. 

Installation at the main library, 15 branch libraries and the Second Start Adult Literacy Program should be completed in three months, said administrative librarian Gerry Garzon.