The Marathon County Public Library main branch downtown is now set up as a wi-fi hot spot. Of course since it is the library we are talking about, the service is free, or more precisely pre-paid. So cruise on down with your laptop and wi-fi card and go ahead and tap into the system.
But wait there is more!
If the only thing that was being added by this was the ability to go online at the library, it would be of somewhat limited usefulness, after all there are now many compunter terminals in the library where the public can access the internet at no charge. But there is an added bonus with the library wi-fi that makes it just a touch better.
If you look on the library homepage, you will see a link at the top of the page labled “Research Resources.” This leads a wealth of information databases that the library subscribes to or has access to. Some of these you can access from outside the library, but others you cannot. Using the library’s wi-fi system, you are considered “inside the library” from an internet standpoint. Which means you can use Ancestry.com right on your own computer, rather than printing out pages or hand writing the information, only to go home and type it on your computer. This is nice.
Perhaps those of you who have the capability can go and check out how things work down there. I am especially curious to see if the signal might be able to be used just outside the building. When spring rolls around again you might be able to watch the flowers growing in front while doing your genealogy research. That would be nice.
It would also be nice if this is the beginning of a larger more comprehensive “wiring” (very ironic that you have to wire for wireless!) of the downtown area, perhaps beginning with the restaurants and cafes that are becoming more numerous. Maybe even the city and county could ask that the projects that got some of those subsidies pitch in with a few public hot spots both inside and outside the buildings.
But thanks to the Library and the county that runs it, Wausau is a little bit cooler place now.