No after-hours internet access at Lewisporte public library
If you’re looking for free public Wi-Fi in Lewisporte tonight, or any other night, you will no longer find it at the public library.
The Lewisporte Memorial Library and town council have decided to shut down internet access outside of the library’s normal operating hours. The decision was made after council received a letter of complaint from a nearby property owner.
“We are writing you with what we consider a major problem,” resident Jim Ryan wrote in a letter to council. “Needles, garbage, broken glass (are) being thrown on our property.”
Noise late at night and in the early hours of the morning has also been an issue for the Ryans, according to the letter.
The resident identified many different issues related to the site, and said he believes the root of the problem to be the public internet access.
The property owners already contacted council and Central Health to address the issue, and brought it the attention of the local RCMP detachment.
While the detachment advised The Pilot there was no formal complaint made, they are aware of the situation and had increased patrols in the area. When the efforts yielded no result, the decision to cut internet access was regarded as the best solution.
“It’s sad,” said Sgt. Ray Jullien of the Lewisporte Detachment. “You could have some people who go there just to use it for a few minutes, or people coming from away, but in this day and age, if you want Wi-Fi you can find it.”
Lewiporte Mayor Brian Sceviour says the town did not make the decision alone. Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries (NLPL) was consulted on the matter and agreed to allow the access point to be disabled. The NLPL has a provincial mandate to provide free public access to residents, but according to Sceviour the town could alter the mandate under the circumstances.
Sceviour says ultimately, a low-tech solution was used to combat the high-tech problem.
“Their experts said the simplest way to do it was just to turn off the router at the end of the day,” said Sceviour. “So that’s what (the librarian) has been doing.”
Public internet access at the Lewisporte Memorial Library will no longer be available after hours.