Scottsdene library patron Danelle Petersen, 23, says free wi-fi at the library will strengthen her love of reading.
The City of Cape Town launched wi-fi hot spots at the Scottsdene and Kraaifontein libraries on Wednesday June 22.
“I love reading so much. The library is my home away from home. I love spending time here, sitting quietly and reading a book,” said Ms Petersen. “You get sites that you can go for for free, educational sites and important information to use and even download for free. That’s an amazing thing.”
The wi-fi, she added, would give her access to her new interest – audio books – and her favourite free book websites, including thenewestauthor.com
The most recent book she has read online at the library is Wolf of Wall Street.
“It’s easier to read online than reading from a book, and this wi-fi will continue to provide me with that convenience.”
Sub-council 2 chairman and Ward 7 councillor, Grant Twigg, was present to help library users connect their phones to the wi-fi at the launch.
“It will actually assist the community to be more in contact by utilising the library more as well. Libraries are moving away from the mindset of being just a place for books, it’s now also a place for (online) connectivity,” Mr Twigg said.
“It’s good for our community, and it will encourage us to use the library a lot more.”
Free internet access at the library, he said, meant residents would no longer have to use expensive data to send emails and messages.
“The City is evolving the library space to a place of community. It’s not just a place of silence. You can engage online now.”
The City also launchedwi-fi at the Wallacedene clinic late last year. Mr Twigg said this was a part of their strategy to connect communities online. Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for corporate services and compliance, said testing of the wi-fi hot spots had gone off without a hitch.
“An investment in the education of our children is one of the greatest investments in the future of our country. By providing access to quality learning materials and other resources, we are placing young and old on a path to success,” said Ms Limberg.
“The City’s libraries attract a large number of patrons of all ages who are in search of general information or want to browse online news, connect to social media, conduct research, search for employment opportunities or access other services.”
The library’s wi-fi users will get 500 megabytes of data a month.“All of this has been achieved with a minimal capital budget of only R5 million for each of the last two years,” Ms Limberg said.
The City has achieved its target of 30 wi-fi zones going live by the end of this financial year in June, and about 60 more will be rolled out the following financial year to June 2017.