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The King County Library System (KCLS) announced today that it has used a federal CARES Act grant from the Washington State Library (WSL) to install external Wi-Fi Access Points (AP) at 44 county library locations, including the North Bend Library.
The new external Access Point provides North Bend residents with access to the internet outside the North Bend Library, 115 E. 4th Street, while the building remains closed to the public.
Since closing libraries to in-building use in March, following orders by Governor Jay Inslee to help slow the spread of COVID-19, KCLS staff expanded access to digital collections and resources, and transitioned programming and services to online platforms. The mandated closures have impacted those who rely on KCLS’ in-building services, and who may have limited internet access needed for distance learning, remote work and other essential services.
KCLS has maintained access to its standard public Wi-Fi signal throughout the pandemic. In some cases, the signal extends outside library buildings and into parking lots, but user experience varies from site to site. The new external access point boosts the Wi-Fi signal and gives residents more reliable internet access outside library buildings.
“KCLS continues to find innovative ways to adapt in-building services during this time,” said KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum. “We are pleased to offer external Wi-Fi at many more locations throughout the region, and we hope the new service helps connect residents to the digital resources they need.”
Residents do not need a library card or Wi-Fi password to access the free “kcls.org wireless” network. For assistance connecting to Wi-Fi, contact Ask KCLS at kcls.org/ask or call (425) 462-9600 or (800) 462-9600.