Wi-Fi Internet Access – Frequently Asked Questions

General Setup Information

Timberland Regional Library (TRL) provides free wireless access (Wi-Fi) to the Internet in all TRL libraries. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about using Wi-Fi in the library.

What is Wi-Fi?

  • Wi-Fi networking uses radio frequency signals to wirelessly connect laptops, tablets or other mobile devices to the library’s network.

Why Wi-Fi?

  • Wi-Fi networking allows library patrons to bring their own laptops, tablets or other mobile devices to the library to access the Internet, as well as the library catalog and the library’s reference databases.
  • Patrons can use their Wi-Fi devices in most areas of the library – they are not restricted to the normal computer areas.
  • Patrons with Wi-Fi capable devices do not need to wait for an available library computer to access the Internet.
  • Public Wi-Fi allows more computer and Internet access in the library, while saving the library the cost of buying additional computers.

Which Timberland libraries offer Wi-Fi?

  • Wi-Fi access is available in all TRL libraries.

What hours is the Wi-Fi service available?

  • Daily 6:00am - midnight

What do I need to use Wi-Fi at the library?

  • TRL uses the Wi-Fi standard known as IEEE 802.11a/b/g.
  • You need to bring your Wi-Fi capable laptop, tablet or other mobile device to the library.
  • Most Wi-Fi equipment should work but TRL cannot guarantee that your equipment will be compatible with the library’s Wi-Fi network.

What software do I need?

  • You should have up-to-date virus detection software installed on your Wi-Fi device.

Do I need a login and password to connect?

  • No login or password is required to connect to the TRL Wi-Fi network.

Can library staff help me configure my computer?

  • Library staff do not provide technical assistance for connecting to the Wi-Fi network.
  • Everyone’s computer hardware and software are different so you are responsible for knowing how to configure and restore the settings on your own computer or device.
  • TRL is not responsible for any changes you make to your device settings.
  • If you need assistance, you may need to contact your hardware or software manufacturers.

Can I access the library catalog and reference databases?

  • Most laptops and tablets and many other mobile devices will let you access the library catalog and reference databases from the TRL home page. Because you are "inside" the library's network, you do not need a library card to access the reference databases.

Are there any restrictions on my use of the Internet?

  • There is no time limit on Wi-Fi sessions.
  • Wi-Fi connections may time out after a length of time with no data to or from your computer. If you are filling out a form or email message for an extended period of time, it is suggested that you save your work periodically, or browse to a new webpage in a different window.
  • Wi-Fi reception and connection speeds are affected by your distance from the TRL Wi-Fi equipment and by barriers such as brick walls, metal bookshelves, stairways and people. The number of computers in use in the local library and traffic on the wider Internet may also affect speed. Reception and speed may improve if you move to a different location in the building.
  • All Wi-Fi Internet access goes through TRL’s Internet content filter which blocks Internet sites that contain adult content. There is no provision for turning off the filter on the Wi-Fi network.

Can I print while using Wi-Fi?

  • Wi-Fi printing is available starting July 2, 2014 in the Tumwater library. It will be added in other libraries in the following several weeks - check with your local library.
  • Although the TRL Wi-Fi service hours are 6am to midnight, 7 days/week, Wi-Fi printing is available only during local library open hours.
  • You are required to use your own TRL Library Card, Internet Card, or Visitor Pass to use Wi-Fi printing.
  • You can print up to 50 free pages per week (Mon-Sat). Additional pages cost $0.10/side printed.
  • There is no charge for printing TRL web pages such as pages from the library catalog, fines and fees payment receipts, and PC reservation information.
  • All other printed pages, including TRL reference databases and PDF files on the TRL web site, are chargeable and count against the 50 free pages per week.
  • The weekly 50-page limit includes all chargeable printing done at TRL libraries throughout the library district.

Is my information safe while using Wi-Fi?

  • The library’s Wi-Fi network is not encrypted or guaranteed to be secure from interception. Information sent to or from your device could be intercepted by anyone within three hundred feet with a Wi-Fi device and with the appropriate software. Keep this in mind if you are accessing sensitive business or personal information. It is recommended that you access private web information only through a secure browser connection with SSL enabled.
  • It is recommended that you not enable file sharing or print sharing when using a public shared network. If you do so, other people may be able to gain access to your hard drive and files or misuse your device.
  • You should have have up-to-date virus detection software installed on your laptop, tablet or mobile device.

Electrical Outlets

  • Plan to have the battery for your laptop, tablet or mobile device fully charged when you come to the library.
  • Some libraries have electrical outlets available that you can plug your device into, other libraries have none.