Connectivity Upgrades on Way for Marin Libraries

MARINet has secured a $175,211 state grant to improve library online networks.

San Rafael, CA – Big news just dropped for the growing number of library patrons who use online services at Marin County branches: Upgraded networking equipment is on its way to enhance the reliability and speed of internet services and contribute to the overall advancement of local digital literacy initiatives.

Marin County Free Library (MCFL) announced that MARINet, a consortium of public and academic libraries in Marin, was awarded a $175,211 state grant to upgrade the public libraries’ networking equipment. 

MARINet, originally created to connect the library catalogs, has expanded greatly over its 35-year history to offer additional services, including a shared e-book collection, numerous online resources, and network connections for the public libraries.

“This grant will empower all libraries in Marin to modernize and stabilize our networking capabilities, ultimately allowing us to better serve the evolving digital needs of library patrons in Marin County,” said Lana Adlawan, MCFL Director.

Belvedere Tiburon Library Director Crystal Duran said the grant ensures the continued commitment of libraries in Marin to serve as vital hubs for internet connectivity within the community. 

“Providing internet access at libraries bridges the digital divide in our community, empowering all individuals to explore, learn, connect, and thrive in the digital age,” she said. 

This project was supported in whole by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California Library Connect program, on behalf of the California State Library.

"We are immensely grateful for the support from the State of California and the California State Library," said Jessica Trenary, Systems Administrator of MARINet. "This grant will secure the public libraries’ ongoing role as a provider of internet connectivity to the community, a cornerstone of public library services in Marin County.” 

In 2016, the public libraries in MARINet joined CENIC's California Research and Education Network (CalREN), which is the high-speed broadband network used by the state’s universities, community colleges, and public schools. CalREN is a high-capacity computer network with more than 8,000 miles of optical fiber. The network serves over 20 million users across California, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with educators, researchers, and individuals at other vital public-serving institutions.

Over the next year, MARINet will partner with local information technology firm, Marin IT, to procure and replace aging equipment essential for maintaining a robust and reliable internet connection for the public libraries. 

MARINet member libraries are all 10 branches of the Marin County Free Library, Belvedere Tiburon Library, College of Marin Library, Dominican University of California’s Archbishop Alemany Library, Larkspur Library, Mill Valley Public Library, San Anselmo Public Library, San Rafael Public Library, and Sausalito Public Library. Together they serve more than 265,000 patrons throughout the county.

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