Wireless Access

The Free Library offers wireless networking to visitors at all locations during its operating hours FREE of charge. This service connects your laptop or other wireless-enabled device to the Internet through the Library's network. To access the Internet, simply launch your web browser, enter your Library card number and PIN and begin surfing.

How to Connect to the Library’s Wireless Network

The Library staff is not trained to troubleshoot your wireless device—if you want to use this service, you are expected to be familiar with your own equipment.

If you want to access the wireless network you will need:

  • A laptop computer (or other wireless-enabled device)
  • A wireless network interface card compatible with the Wi-Fi standard (also known as IEEE 802.11b)
  • To configure the laptop (or other wireless-enabled device) to access the wireless network
  • A charged battery (electrical outlets are available in some areas of the Library, but not all)
  • Compatible headphones if you are planning to use audio files
  • A Library card and PIN

How do I connect to the wireless network?

  1. Turn on your laptop or wireless-enabled device.
  2. Open a browser, such as Internet Explorer or Safari and accept the certificate connection page. Please note: if you have configured your computer to block pop-up windows, you will need to disable it or you will not be able to connect to the network.
  3. Enter a valid Library card number and PIN on the login page.
  4. You are now connected to the Free Library’s wireless network!
  5. When you are ready to exit the network, click the “Logout” button.
Please check the following settings:
Network Name or SSID:
Free_Library
Wireless mode or network type:
802.11b or 802.11g
Network properties:
DHCP (obtain IP address automatically)
WEP
None (disabled)
Authentication
Open or None
Network Type
Access Point (infrastructure)

Note: You must initially allow pop-ups in order to log in to the wireless network.

FAQ

Unlike the public access computers, there are no time limits when using your own wireless equipment. However, the Library reserves the right to disconnect any device at any time in order to manage the network and provide equal opportunity for wireless access to all users.

Wireless access is reserved for Free Library card holders. If you don’t have a Library card, please go to the nearest service desk.

No. We are developing an update to allow wireless printing to the Library system’s public printers, but at the moment, printers are not part of the wireless network. If you need to print, save your work to a portable format (flash drive) and sign up for a session at one of the Library’s public computers.

Anything can interfere with the radio waves of the wireless connection—if you have a problem connecting to the network, try moving to a different location.

All users of the wireless network must comply with our Electronic Resources and the Internet Policy Access Policy. Access to violent and or sexually explicit material is prohibited. All sessions are filtered in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act.

It is highly recommended that patrons have installed and are running some up-to-date Antivirus / Antispam software. Also, it is recommended that privacy software (such as a personal firewall) be in place as the network is not secure (see Disclaimers below).

The wireless network will be available during library operating hours.

Limitations and Disclaimers

  • Library staff is not able to provide technical assistance and no guarantee can be provided that you will be able to make a wireless connection.
  • The Library’s wireless network is not secure. Information sent from or to your laptop can be captured by anyone else with a wireless device and the appropriate software, within three hundred feet.
  • The Library assumes no responsibility for the safety of equipment or for laptop configurations, security, or data files resulting from connection to the Library’s wireless network.
  • The staff cannot control the availability of sites you would like to visit. Sites frequently change addresses or close down, and some sites may limit access to affiliated or authorized users.
  • The Free Library of Philadelphia provides computers with filtering software to limit children's exposure to some websites. Internet traffic on the wireless network is also filtered. The software blocks specific sites that could be offensive to some users. Filtering software may not block all material users might find offensive. Parents may wish to supervise their children's Internet sessions. Filtering software may also inadvertently block material that is inoffensive. If you believe you are being unjustly blocked from a site, please notify a staff member.
  • The Free Library of Philadelphia reserves the right to prohibit an individual from accessing the wireless network if that individual is violating any of the policies or guidelines of the Free Library of Philadelphia. A warning will be issued if such a violation occurs. If after a warning, an individual is again found to be violating the Library’s policies or guidelines, he or she will be banned from accessing the wireless network at the Free Library.