Peter White Public Library providing WiFi access in parking lot during coronavirus shutdown

MARQUETTE — One local library is making sure that people who depend on them for internet are still able to access their WiFi.

The Peter White Public Library in Marquette is currently closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but they’ve repositioned their routers in order to provide WiFi access in the parking lot.

Library Director Andrea Ingmire says even though they aren’t able to provide the community with books at this time, they wanted to continue to provide whatever services they could.

“Two of the main services that we provide are access to the materials and access to the internet,” said Ingmire. “So we’re trying to figure out ways that we can continue to provide that access during this time when we can’t allow people in the building. We know that it doesn’t help folks who don’t have devices, but shared devices right now are not really an acceptable practice. But we could share the WiFi still, so that was something that we could do.”

Some libraries in the region are offering online ordering and curbside pickup of books during certain hours. Ingmire says Peter White is working toward that same service, but it will take time due to low staffing as well as limited resources while the library’s web services are undergoing upgrades.

“We’re in the same situation a lot of businesses are, where we have staff who can’t come in because they have health concerns, we have staff who are at home with their children and don’t have daycare, so we’ve got a very limited amount of staff who can actually be in the building. A lot of our staff are actually working from home right now. So trying to figure out how to get the items pulled, packaged, and ready for pickup is where we’re at right now. But I do foresee that we’ll be offering that service unless we’re told by the state we cannot.”

In the meantime, the library is still using Facebook Live to share content with the public. The WiFi password has been posted on the library’s Facebook page as well. They will also continue to update their YouTube channel during this time.