Patron Only WiFi In Libraries

For a few different reasons, I recently had to explore some local libraries to see about their WiFi access, and discovered that a few of the libraries near where I live offer free WiFi — though, all balked when I tried to set up a VPN connection. Glenn Fleishman has been looking into the issue and discovered that many libraries, instead, offer “patron WiFi” where only patrons of the library with a library card are allowed to use the WiFi connection. He suggests that they might want to set up a tiered service, where patrons get access for free, and visitors have to pay. To be honest, however, this seems a little strange to me. What, really, should define a “patron” of a library? The idea is to serve the community, and not everyone in the community will have a library card or fit the traditional definition of a library patron. Why should those users be denied WiFi access?

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