The last time I went to the Poplar-White Station branch library, I was surprised to realize I couldn't connect to the internet with my laptop. No wireless.
But that's not the case any more.
As part of the its 2010 strategic plan, the Memphis Public Library and Information Center has put a renewed emphasis on bridging the digital divide, starting with wireless internet access at every location.
The library system, which currently has about 600 internet-accessible public computers, also plans to add about 60 more computers in the next two years.
"We always have a line [for the computers]," library director Keenon McCloy said at a meeting of the Friends of Poplar-White Station Branch Library this morning. "At most branches, we even have a line when we open each morning."
The library's website will be getting an overhaul and, though you can download audiobooks now (who knew?), will include steaming video and podcasts from WYPL, the library's radio and television station.
The library is also planning to take a page from national retailers, with a pilot project for self-checkout at the Ben Hooks central library.
"People are used to doing things themselves," McCloy said. "It's an efficient way for people to check books out."