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WiFiWhat You Need To Know About Using the Library’s Wireless Network

Where are the WiFi Access Points (HotSpots)?This free service is provided in designated areas at the Main Library and all branches, for those who wish to use their personal wireless-enabled Laptops and other wireless devices while at the library.

The Library’s WiFi network is named: ymcpl-public-wifi.  

What do I need to do?The Library strives to maintain an atmosphere appropriate for work, study and enjoyment for all its patrons. Wireless users are expected to follow the library’s conduct rules listed in the “Code of Conduct” flyer. Users must also agree to abide by all terms and conditions set forth in the Library’s “Wireless Network User Agreement”. All users are expected to use the Library’s wireless access in a legal and responsible manner, consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which it is provided.

Devices must have:

• A wireless interface card or WiFi USB 802.11g device.
• A fully charged battery.
• Headphones if you wish to use audio files.

May I use an electrical outlet?A limited amount of electrical outlets may be available in designated areas only, but the Library cannot guarantee availability. For safety reasons, electrical cords may not extend across traffic areas where they would create a trip hazard. Users may never unplug library equipment nor use part of a duplex, 4-plex or extension receptacle where other sockets are being used for library equipment. The library reserves the right to relocate wireless users when necessary.

What assistance will library staff provide?Library staff cannot provide technical assistance in obtaining a wireless connection or using the wireless network. Library staff cannot assist patrons with their computer and cannot accept the liability of handling non-library equipment. The Library cannot guarantee that a device will work with the library’s wireless network, nor can it guarantee that any particular website or electronic transaction will work. 

Can I send and receive e-mail while on the Library’s WiFi network? You must use web-mail to send and receive e-mail while on our network. Many Internet Service Providers allow you to check your e-mail via web browser. Check your ISP’s website or contact them to find out if they have this capability. You will not be able to use e-mail clients such as Outlook/ Outlook Express/ Eudora/ Thunderbird (Firefox)/ AOL, etc. to send e-mail from your laptop while connected to the Library’s WiFi network. Sending e-mail using clients such as these requires that we open up a wide range of ports on our network. We are not able to do this for security reasons. 

What about security and viruses? The Library’s WiFi HotSpots are unsecured and another wireless user could potentially intercept any information being transmitted. For this reason, users should NOT transmit personal information (credit card numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers and any other sensitive information) across this network.
It is strongly recommended that all users have up-to-date virus protection and a personal firewall installed on their Laptops.

The library will not be responsible for any information that is compromised, or for any damage caused to hardware or software due to electric surges, security issues or consequences caused by viruses or hacking.

Wireless access users should be certain that their devices are secure at all times. These items should never be left unattended. The library accepts no responsibility for the safety of equipment. 

Is it possible to print a document using library equipment? Print jobs may be authorized remotely and through the Library's wireless network via PLYMC Mobile Print.  A valid library card or a courtesy card issued by the staff is required to use this service.  Log on with your barcode and PIN to submit and manage your print jobs.  You cannot upload or print files directly from your smartphone or tablet, but you can view files that you have already uploaded from your computer.  A submitted print job will be available to print at any of our locations.  Black & white copies cost $0.10 per page; color copies cost $0.50 per page.  Please note:  If the submitted document contains color and the print job is released to a color printer, pages containing color will be printed in color and charged accordingly.  Color printing is available at Main Library and at the Austintown, Boardman, Canfield, Newport and Poland branches.  Print jobs are automatically deleted after 24 hours from the time they are submitted.  Alternative methods to print are to save the file to a USB device, or e-mail it to yourself and follow standard procedures for use of our traditional public access computers to print. Library computers are available until 15 minutes before closing. 

Will I be able to access the Library Catalog and the Library’s electronic databases from the wireless connection? Yes, your access will be the same as if you were connecting from a library computer. 

Answers to Your Technical Questions 

What kind of wireless card do I need? You need an 11Mbps 802.11b or 802.11g Wireless Network Card, or a Wi-Fi USB 802.11g device. Many new laptop computers have wireless built in so you will want to check with your laptop manufacturer for your options. 

Do all PDA’s support wireless? While not all PDA’s support wireless, several manufacturers have adopted the 802.11b standard. 

Will my Macintosh work with wireless in the Library? Yes, as long as it supports 802.11b or 802.11g wireless. 

How long does my connection last while I’m in one of your libraries? Sessions need to be renewed after two hours.  This is by design so the system does not get overwhelmed maintaining dead connections.

I can’t get a WiFi signal, but others in the room are connected. Not all Wireless cards are the same. The quality of your card versus your neighbor’s can be quite different. Try moving to a different part of the room. If you are still unable to connect, you may need to check with your laptop manufacturer’s tech support center. 

What can interrupt my connection? Wireless connects using radio waves. Those things that can cause radio interference can also interfere with your wireless connection. Barriers within the building, certain building materials, and proximity of other people can all cause the signal to be interrupted or lessened. 

Do I need special software or drivers to connect? While you won’t need special software, up-to-date drivers have remedied many connection problems. The drivers included with the card may be several generations old. Updates are usually available on the vendor’s website. 

Does the wireless network pose a health hazard? The wireless network does not pose any health risk. It uses radio signals within the spectrum of safety. While there has been controversy over the safety of exposure to radio signals, this is something we are exposed to in our daily environment. 

I don’t have a laptop computer. How can I use the network? Laptop computers are available to borrow for use within the Library at Main Library and at the Austintown, Boardman and Newport branches.  The loan period is two hours and OTHER RESTRICTIONS apply.  Please consult a staff member for a complete description of this service. 

Do I need to Update Windows for wireless? You don’t need to update Windows specifically for wireless but it is always a good idea to keep your software fully patched and up to date. You need to make sure that Windows remains safe when you are on the wireless network (or any internet connected networks). Microsoft recommends that you install all the “service packs” for your version of Windows and visit for more information. Make sure that you have anti-virus software and that personal firewall software is running on your machine.

I can’t get XP to connect with your wireless. On some XP laptops with both wireless and wired (Ethernet) connectivity, vendors ship with the “Network Bridge” turned on. You may need to Delete this (under Control Panel, Network Connections). Numerous problems reported with Windows XP Service Pack 1 have been resolved by Service Pack 2.

I can’t use your wireless with Windows 2000. A machine with an integrated wireless card and running Windows 2000 might stop working after installing SP3. Microsoft Knowledge Base article 327947, states that Windows 2000 SP3 turns off PCMCIA-to-PCI IRQ routing, which causes problems for integrated Lucent/Orinoco wireless adapters. You need to follow the instructions in the Microsoft Support document to re-enable the card. 

Will Bluetooth transmissions interfere with my wireless connection? It is unknown whether Bluetooth transmissions will interfere with wireless connections at this time. Bluetooth does transmit in the same frequency range as wireless so it is possible that the transmissions may interfere with each other. 

Does a wireless card reduce battery life? The wireless card does use the battery more since it is constantly radiating a signal to the access point.

I have problems connecting with Internet Explorer – IE. In some cases, the proxy server setting is present in your browser. On a public network like the Library network, it’s important that you turn off proxy servers. The wireless network cannot allow unauthenticated connections to external proxy servers for security reasons. To check proxy setting, go under Internet Options, Connections tab, verify that the Dial-up and Virtual Private Network settings are set to “Never dial a connection”. Under Local Area Network (LAN) Settings, uncheck each of the following: “Automatic Detect Settings”, “Use Automatic Configuration Script” and “Use a Proxy Server for your LAN”.

I own a Cisco, D-Link, Linksys, Netgear, Nortel, or SMC a/b/g wireless card and am having throughput (slow connection) problems. Check with the manufacturers for resolution. Some cards are more problematic than others but upgrades are regularly available for the popular cards. 

Why does the wireless network data transfer rate vary? Depending on your distance from the Access Point (AP) or Hotspot, you may see variable rates ranging from 45 Mbps to 1 Mbps. Since a wireless network is a shared network, its data transfer capability depends on how many users are using the same AP.

Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County Wireless Network User Agreement
Users of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County’s wireless connectivity must agree to the terms of use listed below. Failure to do so may result in the connection being severed and may lead to the loss of Library privileges and/or civil or criminal charges.

Terms of Use: Internet Access Policy, Procedures and Restrictions The Internet is an unregulated global electronic network in a constant state of development. Library patrons use it at their own risk. The Library is not responsible for the content of the Internet, which changes rapidly and unpredictably. Information on the Internet originates from a variety of sources and may not always be accurate, complete, current or unbiased. The Library’s Internet connections are filtered in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) but users should be aware that no filtering system is completely effective. There may be times when information is “over-blocked’ or “under-blocked.”

1) Wi-Fi Hotspots are located in public areas shared by patrons of all ages, backgrounds and sensibilities; the library expects patrons to recognize this and refrain from accessing potentially obscene or disturbing web sites.

2) Minors are not permitted to display, create, send or receive text or graphics that are obscene, pornographic or offensive as determined by Library staff.

3) The Library reserves the right to ask individuals to discontinue the display of information and images that violate state and federal law. Use of the Internet to engage in any activity which constitutes violation of local, state or federal laws—including, but not limited to, criminal and copyright laws—is strictly prohibited. Use of the Internet for unauthorized, malicious or unethical purposes is not permitted.

4) All users of this service agree to hold the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County harmless from any claims, losses, damages, obligations or liabilities relating to the use of the wireless network or the Internet.

5) Library staff cannot provide technical assistance in obtaining a wireless connection or using the wireless network.

6) Acceptable uses of the library’s wireless network will be determined by library staff.

7) The Library reserves the right to sever a wireless connection at any time.