FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Wi-Fi service at libraries in Kimberly and Little Chute expanded to give more internet access


LITTLE CHUTE, Wis. (WFRV) Two libraries in the Fox Cities have expanded the reach of their Wi-Fi service, so it’s available far beyond their building’s walls. It’s a much-needed service, fast tracked because of the pandemic.

Attached to the exterior walls of Kimberly and Little Chute libraries, two small pieces of technology that give anyone in proximity to either building, access to the world wide web.

“It’s been an aspiration of mine for a while to have access outside the building,” said Steve Thiry.

Thiry is the director of the Kimberly-Little Chute Library – which helps thousands of people each year. And while they’ve always had Wi-Fi in the buildings, since the pandemic began both have only offered curbside pickup.

“People still need the service and they are banging on our doors trying to get in to use our library, use our computers,” Thiry said.

The project has been talked about for a number of years, but was pushed to the forefront because of the pandemic.

“We can provide the service to them if they don’t have it at home or can’t afford it or have to make those tough decisions about how they’re going to spend their money,” said Thiry.

“I think that sounds like a very good idea,” said Serena Thompson.

Thompson says there was a time in her life when she depended on Wi-Fi at a library. She says many will appreciate the new service.

“They can’t go into the building, but they can still use the internet. I think that is very nice,” Thompson said

The Wi-Fi is up 24 hours a day and Thiry expects it will be popular.

“I think there are going to be more people out there using it, as time goes on,” he said.

Thiry says much of the cost for the project was paid for through grants.

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