Public Library Brings Free Wi-Fi Hotspot To Amesville

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The Athens County Public Libraries system is partnering with Amesville Grange 798 and the village of Amesville to provide free high-speed Internet in the parking lot between the Grange building and the Amesville post office.

The service, purchased from Frontier, will allow up to 10 users with their own wireless devices to be connected to the Internet simultaneously.

“We used to provide bookmobile service to the Amesville area,” said Lauren Miller, Athens County Public Libraries director. “But when we lost funding for that service, we had to scale back some of our connection to that part of the county. In the subsequent years, e-content and the need to get online has become more prevalent Providing free, fast Wi-Fi is a way for us to once again offer library services to the village.”

“There are many parts of our community that still do not have high-speed Internet,” said Amesville Mayor Gary Goosman. “Even if you can get service at your home, the cost is simply too much for many. Having a free hotspot is going to be a great resource for the village and its surrounding residents.”

“Library staff came and presented the idea at a Grange meeting last spring,” added Goosman, who is also a Grange member. “We thought it was an excellent use of our facilities and are happy to make the site available.” A small wireless antenna covers the entirety of the parking lot with a strong Wi-Fi signal.

Some of the e-content available through the library’s website includes Hoopla, a free streaming and downloading service for music, movies and audiobooks; the Ohio Digital Project, which provides free ebooks and e-audiobooks; and, Zinio, free downloads of popular magazine titles such as Reader’s Digest, Mother Earth News, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, etc.

“We also have excellent research databases available on the library’s website,” adds Miller, “but really, we don’t expect this service to only be used for educational purposes. We’re happy to make entertainment resources available, too. We understand that for many the Internet is their connection to the world and friends and family.”

According to James Hill, assistant director for Athens County Public Libraries, the Amesville Wi-Fi hotspot features the same website filter that is used at the library branches, which blocks pornography and “hate speech.”

This type of hotspot is a first for the library system. “All seven ACPL buildings have wireless Internet available 24/7 in the parking lots, but the library has never extended its reach beyond its grounds,” adds Miller. The library system has committed to the project, which is being paid for in part by anonymous donors, for three years.

Hill said that many families attend classes provided by Village Productions at the Grange building. He said this will allow parents to access the Internet while waiting for their children during lessons, particularly those who don’t reside in the village of Amesville.

A library card is not required to get online at the Amesville site, but is required to access library databases and services. New cards are free at any of the seven Athens County Public Libraries. Bring a photo ID and proof of current local address (mail, checkbook, lease, etc.). For information, visit the library’s website at