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New Canaan Library To Improve Wi-Fi Service

NEW CAANAN, Conn. – John Wilson relies on being online when he visits the New Canaan Library.

Wilson, 17, a junior at St. Luke’s School, was using the Internet during a stop Friday in the library, preparing for a current events debate. Like many library users, he has been frustrated because sometimes he can't connect.

So Wilson was happy to hear that the library plans to make improvements to its Wi-Fi access, allowing more users on at a time. “It would be nice, especially during exams,” Wilson said. “More people could get online fast and make it a better place to work.”

Library Executive Director Alice Knapp said the Wi-Fi update became necessary as more visitors came to study or do research with computers, smartphones and tablets. The need was hastened after residents packed the library after losing power for days after Hurricane Irene last September and a freak October snowstorm. “It couldn’t handle that number of users,” she said.

The new Wi-Fi setup will allow up to 100 users to connect at one access point and stay online wherever they go inside the library. The current system has several connection points in different spots in the building. Knapp said the Wi-Fi improvement was “a high priority” for library management. The upgrade will cost about $26,000, which was raised from donations. Knapp said she’s not sure when the new Wi-Fi system will be installed but suggested it should be in this spring.

“We needed to improve here in New Canaan for New Canaan’s sake. If people want to sit in a spot quietly to do work, they should be able to do that without going to other places,” Knapp added.

Lisa Lanna, a fifth-grade teacher at Saxe Middle School who also tutors at the library, says she needs her iPad to stay connected and find files for students. “I think it’s great,” Lanna said. “This will benefit all New Canaan students who study here, and New Canaan professionals who use the library for professional purposes and, of course, for leisure.”

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