WiFi Pilot Project at Courthouse Libraries BC

February 7, 2011

In a recent post on The Stream, Courthouse Libraries BC invites its user community to “break out their wireless devices (laptops, smartphones, etc.) and connect” at one of their WiFi locations.

Declaring “early success” in their WiFi service pilot launch at the North Vancouver and Victoria library locations, and with wireless internet “now officially available in the Vancouver branch”, Courthouse Libraries BC posted details of the project rollout:

We presently offer WiFi service in Victoria, Vancouver and North Vancouver branches. In Vancouver, you will find that the signal is fairly strong in the barristers’ lounge as well.

By mid-February 2011, Kamloops and Kelowna branches will also have WiFi, and Prince George and Nanaimo branches will follow some time in March this year.

A few small branches (probably Quesnel, Cranbrook and Courtenay) will also receive WiFi later this year. And at some point in the next few months, we will offer limited WiFi service at 222 Main Street for lawyers only (likely in the barristers’ lounge, although this remains to be confirmed).

Our WiFi project being in its pilot phase, we are focusing WiFi service at locations where regular staff can observe and evaluate its success and use. This does not mean that we have overlooked small branches, however, and dependent upon the success of our pilot phase, WiFi most likely will be a featured part of our smaller branch enhancement project.

Courthouse Libraries BC also addressed security and confidentiality concerns, directing lawyers to an article by Dave Bilinsky:

While the benefits and convenience of this service are tremendous, we are also cognizant, and wish lawyers to be too, that there are inherent security issues with WiFi networks. Lawyers routinely deal with confidential and sensitive client information and should be highly cautious about how they use WiFi (including making use of computer security precautions and best practices), and know when it is best to avoid WiFi connections entirely.

Dave Bilinsky has posted to his blog about the Courthouse Libraries WiFi service and the ethical and security issues that arise: http://thoughtfullaw.com/2011/01/28/bc-courthouses-and-libraries-now-offering-wi-fi/.

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