The Eclectic Public Library is among several public libraries in Elmore County and throughout the state that recently received faster and expanded internet services thanks to the Alabama Supercomputer Authority.
Eclectic library director Betty Coker said the ASA began installing the library’s internet in July. The ASA has also equipped the public libraries in Wetumpka and Tallassee with free high speed internet. The organization is on a mission to provide more than 100 libraries in rural communities with improved internet capabilities.
Eclectic’s internet is now operating at 100 megabits per second and is equipped with a firewall and content filtering, both of which provide a degree of protection from viruses. WiFi access points have been placed throughout the library to eliminate possible dead spots.
Coker said the library’s internet reaches into the parking lot and to the multipurpose annex building located behind the library. She said it’s common for residents to sit in the parking lot to use the internet.
She said it used to take a while to register books into the library system, but now it takes no time at all.
“Since we got the new system, our internet is so fast,” Coker said. “It’s been great for us. We have really enjoyed it and benefitted from it.”
The services offered by ASA are free to libraries, schools and colleges/universities. Funding for the organization comes from the state and the federal government.
The new partnership means ASA manages the library’s contract with its internet service provider and handles all administrative work related to the account. ASA also files for E-rate dollars, funds allocated by the Federal Communications Commission for schools and libraries, on behalf of the library.
The ASA has a network of specialists who monitor the library’s internet services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If there were ever an interruption in service it would likely be fixed before the library staff ever realizes there was a problem.
The Eclectic library reopened to the public in July. Coker said residents are free to enter the library, but the classes previously offered are canceled for now.
The library is open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.