San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), and the City and County of San Francisco have collaborated to provide unprecedented direct connection at 10 gigabits per second access speed to CENIC’s California Research and Education Network (CalREN) and from there to the world.
“The ability to access digital information is essential to every Californian and our remarkable libraries are places where access, the expertise of librarians, and a wealth of opportunities are available to all. Bandwidth should never constrain access and innovation in our libraries,“ said CENIC President & CEO, Louis Fox.”
This unprecedented access to the ultra-high bandwidth CENIC network will provide patrons of the San Francisco Public Library with access to the latest and best resources across a wide array of needs and opportunities in areas such as business, government, science, health care, and education — opportunities to engage, create, invent, and learn.
“They are breaking new ground here, and it’s great to see,” said John Beto, Director of University of Maryland’s Information Policy and Access Center, which conducts research on issues that govern access to digital information.
SFPL accesses city-owned fiber that is used to connect them to CalREN. SFPL has a direct 10 Gigabit connection to their main library. Seven branches now connect to the main branch at 1 Gigabit, with plans to connect all 27 branch libraries at this speed using city-owned fiber. From CalREN, San Francisco’s libraries are connected to California’s K-12 and higher education systems, to research and education networks throughout the world, and to the public Internet.
“In keeping with our mission of equality and being a 21st century library, this broadband increase allows our patrons to have the very best in access and opportunity,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera.
The Library’s new teen center, The Mix at SFPL, will greatly benefit from new broadband speed. The Mix at SFPL is dedicated to connecting young people with innovative technology tools such as 3D printers, video/audio editing software, fabrication, and other electronic tools to create their own digital or electronic art, to be involved in robotics, even to build their own drones, and to meet, socialize and collaborate with other young people who share common interests.
“The ability to access digital information is essential to every Californian and our remarkable libraries are places where access, the expertise of librarians, and a wealth of opportunities are available to all.Bandwidth should never constrain access and innovation in our libraries,“ said CENIC President & CEO, Louis Fox.
“San Francisco was among the pilot sites that preceded the Governor and Legislature’s ‘Lighting Up Libraries Initiative,’ which will bring additional broadband capacity to all of California’s public libraries. 389 libraries will connect starting in July of 2015, with a goal to connect all of California’s 1,112 public libraries in the next few years,” said Fox.
“Public libraries change lives. And the 21st Century connectivity that they are getting through connecting to CENIC’s broadband network is going to be transformative for all of California’s diverse communities.Already, 56 California library jurisdictions, including the San Francisco Public Library, and the Peninsula Library Systems, have the highest level of connectivity of any libraries in the country — a number that will grow over the coming months,” said California State Librarian, Greg Lucas.