Library system seeks faster Internet links
When Christy Fusco's work computer at the Monroeville Public Library slowed down, she knew that patrons had ramped up use of library computers.
But last month, Monroeville and several suburban libraries got expanded bandwidth — the highway that links them to the Internet — through the eiNetwork run by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
“This increased our capacity by tenfold,” said Fusco, director of the Monroeville Library. “It's a pretty fast network all the time. We got a bigger highway so more people can do what they want to do without experiencing that wait.”
The Carnegie Library is working to expand bandwith for all libraries in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. It is asking the Allegheny Regional Asset District to increase funding from $2.5 million for 2012 to $2.8 million for 2013 to complete expansion of the digital highway, called eiNetwork, next year.
Expansion means fewer interruptions of service and even more programs being available online through libraries. For some libraries, bandwith would be 100 times bigger.
Rebecca Serey, director of the eiNetwork, said about 50 libraries, mostly in the suburbs, began the first phase of the expansion last year. As part of the contract, the vendor runs high-speed fiber to the libraries, installs at least one network switch in each branch and maintains the system.
Phase two would increase bandwidth by 10 times in 16 branches in the city by the middle of next year, Serey said.
“A network of this size could download 17 full-length videos in under an hour,” she said.
Money for bandwith expansion is part of the Carnegie Library's $22.3 million overall request for RAD money to operate the city branches and the digital network next year.
RAD supports libraries, stadiums, parks and cultural groups with half of the proceeds from a 1 percent sales tax in Allegheny County.
The eiNetwork “is really trying to make an effective federation of library services so that whether you go in a library in Pittsburgh, Dormont or McKeesport, you can have access to the same kinds of materials and information,” said David Donahoe, executive director of RAD.
Sunesys, a digital communications firm from Warrendale, is providing more bandwidth at a cost of more than $8 million over 10 years.
RAD will conduct hearings on funding requests before voting on Nov. 27. The first hearing starts Aug. 21; a schedule of presentations has not been announced.
The city library system also is asking RAD for $250,000 next year to help make seven branches, some of which they were planning to close, more accessible.
Carnegie Library spokeswoman Suzanne Thinnes said the system plans to “spruce up” branches in Beechview, Carrick, Knoxville, Lawrenceville, Mt. Washington, Sheraden and the West End. The project involves new roofs, updated heating and cooling systems, new or upgraded windows and ramps and elevators for senior citizens and people with disabilities.
The Sheraden branch has begun its improvements, followed by Lawrenceville. The West End and Beechview branches are scheduled for 2013.
Two years ago, the library board voted to close branches in Beechview, Hazelwood, Lawrenceville and the West End for financial reasons, but changed its mind because of community opposition.
Bill Zlatos is a reporter for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers trying to get missing defensive pieces on field
- In reworking contract, Steelers WR Brown gets hefty pay raise
- Cole struggles as Brewers continue Miller mastery over Pirates
- Steelers running back eager to prove he can help bridge gap to Bell
- 22-month-old boy shot, killed in North Side; stepfather charged
- Student violinist,Valley School of Ligonier reach settlement
- Western Pa. played role, was transformed by victory in World War II
- Youngstown State looking for repeat performance against Pitt
- Allegheny County CYF worker arrested on child pornography charges
- Alleged Mon Valley heroin trafficker arrested
- Pirates notebook: 6 September call-ups include first-timer Diaz