Wireless Networks in Libraries

This institute will provide in-depth and practical information on wireless networking technologies, focusing on how libraries can take advantage of this technology to provide flexible access to their network-based services and electronic resources in an increasingly mobile society.   The workshop will include material on the technical underpinnings of wireless networking, including general networking concepts that help put wireless networks into perspective.  The workshop will include suggestions on how libraries can incorporate wireless networks to enhance library services and to provide more convenient access to electronic resources for their users.  The workshop aims to separate the hype from the realistic expectations of the benefits of wireless technologies.  The workshop will offer advice on which parts of their library’s network infrastructure lend themselves to wireless and where wired networks offer a superior solution.

Topics Covered

  • Networking Basics
  • Basics of Wireless networks and protocols
  • Security issues in a wireless environment
  • Library applications and implementations
  • Deciding between wired and wireless networks


This workshop targets systems librarians, administrators, and other library staff involved in making decisions regarding library networking infrastructure or with the implementation of wireless networks.   Although some familiarity with computer technology is helpful, no advanced networking knowledge will be assumed.  All the concepts covered in the workshop will be presented in a way that non-technical participants can understand.


Marshall Breeding is the Library Technology Officer at Vanderbilt University.   Throughout his career, Breeding has been involved with implementing networks in libraries, beginning with the mainframe terminal networks of the 1980’s through the high-performance gigabit networks of today.  He has worked as a consultant to assist many other libraries with networking and library automation efforts.  He is a frequent speaker and workshop leader at library conferences.  He is a contributing editor to ALA’s Smart Libraries Newsletter, a columnist for Computers in Libraries, and has written many articles and books on topics related to library automation and network technologies.