Community & Environment

Major upgrade for libraries free internet service

Hamilton City Libraries’ free internet service gets a major upgrade next month.

Through a nationwide arrangement with National Library of New Zealand, Hamilton City Libraries is part of the Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa (APNK), a service giving library customers free access to the internet.

The APNK service offered by Hamilton City Libraries is available at all six branches, and allows customers to use computers, the internet, and free wifi, in any branch.

Rob Baigent, Hamilton City Libraries Matihiko Digital Services Leader, says the APNK upgrade will be rolled out across the six branches through eight days in July.

“APNK reflects our commitment to embracing technology in the modern libraries sector, and access to information and learning for our regular customers and the wider community,” Mr Baigent says.

“The July upgrade will mean more APNK terminals across our branches and greater flexibility for users through the introduction of Chromebook laptops, replacing some of the APNK desktops we currently have.”

Across the Hamilton City Libraries network, the number of APNK terminals – both desktops and the new Chromebooks – will increase from 43 to 62.

Mr Baigent says the upgrade of APNK comes with other enhancements – specifically colour printing and scanning, and a new Google operating system on the machines replacing Windows.

He says customers may need a little bit of support to understand how to use Google, and libraries staff will be available to assist.

“We’re really excited by the upgrade and we think our customers will be too.”

The roll-out of the upgraded APNK system will mean the terminals and Chromebooks are initially unavailable at each branch, but customers will still be able to access free wifi with their own devices.

The timetable for the roll-out of upgraded APNK is:

  • Dinsdale Library – 2 July
  • Glenview Library – 3 July
  • Hillcrest Library – 4 July
  • St Andrews Library – 5 July
  • Central Library – 9 July
  • Chartwell Library – 10 July

Mr Baigent says the upgrade roll-out at the suburban libraries is expected to take half a day at each site, and a full day at the Central Library.

The existing APNK equipment will be donated to community groups.

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