Web Edition

lead stories
other news
photo gallery




chess forum
town talk


press releases


last week's issue

real estate
classified ads



Wireless Internet Access Will Be Added Feature Of Library Renovations

Candace Braun

Along with a cafe, student study centers, and self check-out machines, Princeton's rebuilt public library will also boast access to wireless internet through the Wireless Fidelity Network.

Wireless Fidelity, or Wi-Fi, allows users to send and receive information through their laptop computers without the use of a cable, working similarly to a cell phone. The network lets people share a single high-speed broadband cable, or DSL connection, among 10 or more users.

For this reason, Wi-Fi is not as secure as a dial-up connection, and users are warned against sending personal information over the Internet while using Wi-Fi. Also, only certified laptop computers will be able to use the network, but Wi-Fi access will be available in "hot spots" throughout the three-floor, glassed-in, 55,000-square-foot building, said Leslie Burger, library director. Computer connections will also be available in the outside plaza.

Along with these hot spots, the new library, expected to open on April 1, will also have several places to hook up cable-use laptops. Library patrons will be able to plug in and use their computers while enjoying the atmosphere at one of the two fireplaces that will be installed, or in the new cafe with comfortable seating.

"The library is going to be a hot spot for more reasons than one," said Ms. Burger.

In addition, the library will also have more than twice as many computers available than it had in the past. According to Ms. Burger, approximately 85 new Dell computers will be available to the public, compared to 25 currently available at the library's temporary location at the Princeton Shopping Center. Add to that 50 to 60 computers for staff, and the library will have more than 100 computers available for use.

Other new features not available in the past will be specific locations for tutoring, studying, and children's story hour, she said. Six private study rooms will also be available by reservation. "People will no longer be on top of each other," said Ms. Burger. "There will be a wide variety of spaces for many different purposes," she said.

Businesses will also benefit from a library meeting room, which will hold 160 people, more than twice as large as the 70-person facility that was available in the past.

A small conference room will also be available for smaller groups.

Opening on Time

Aiming for completion by March 16, the $18.7 million library renovation could be delayed if the Borough Park-and-Shop Garage currently under construction isn't completed on time. The garage, which is being constructed on Spring Street, will provide 500 parking spaces to downtown patrons.

According to the library director, it will be the Borough's decision whether to open the library without the garage.

"The Borough gives a certificate of occupancy, so the library's opening will depend on it," said Ms. Burger.

According to Mayor Marvin Reed, garage construction is moving ahead on schedule. "Unless we have terrible snow within the next two weeks, the structure should be complete by the end of December," he said.

The garage has a completion date set for March 10, said Carl Peters, Borough engineer. He said that at the current time, the first level is complete and the columns are being put up. He expects the pre-cast erection to be done by the end of December.

"The building will look pretty much done by Christmas," he said.

He said a lot of work will still need to be done on the inside, including electrical work, plumbing, and painting, which will be weather-dependent. In addition, the crane cannot be used during wind, rain or snow.

"There's always potential for the project to be moved back a couple weeks," said Mr. Peters. "But we expect to be done on time."

The library's Ms. Burger said that in the event the garage is not open by April 1, she anticipates having a discussion with the Borough to find temporary parking for library patrons in another location.

go to next story

Website Design by Kiyomi Camp