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Wireless at ALA

An update on the wireless issue. Some folks had wanted to know why ALA couldn’t buy this for everyone, or why Only Council was getting this “perk.” That’s because this is a maiden voyage for ALA and they want to get it right. (Remember how you kvetched at the minor problems when ALA launched e-voting association-wide?)

Currently, the wireless “perk” is having the usual birthing problems of any new technology roll-out. Councilors aren’t sure what they need to connect, are a little confused about how to connect, and haven’t heard back from The Man who provides usernames and passwords. In one case, a Councilor headed for her maiden wi-fi voyage wanted to test the connection ahead of time.

As an unofficial ambassador to all exciting new technologies for ALA members (and I use the term “exciting” with tongue in cheek, because the Web Advisory Committee was recently scolded by an ALA member for expressing undue interest in “exciting” technologies), I would like to see ALA get this right. Using Council as a test group is a great idea. Council is a lower-tech group, by nature of its relative age. If Council can use this technology correctly, anyone can get it right.

If it were me, rather than complain, I would simply figure out how I could get summa that. I would wager that ALA won’t really use up all 200 logins, or that (as it has indicated) it would be willing to spring for a few more. I would simply request a login. Or I would be even more ambitious and in the manner of a few Young Turks from days of yore, I’d start a small Wireless Aid Society and volunteer to help Councilors get connected in exchange for free log-ins. Write a tip sheet, coordinate with The Man, plan a couple of orientation sessions, etc. Don’t agonize: organize!

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