Libraries

Serving Libraries and Library Consortiums

KINBER is a collaborative community of education, healthcare, economic development, libraries, government and public media organizations that utilizes the high-performance Pennsylvania Research and Education Network, also known as PennREN. By offering essential services and exceptional member support, KINBER will help your library or library consortium achieve its mission and goals through the ongoing discovery, application and transfer of new network technologies. Essentially, KINBER provides access to connectivity, content, and collaboration.

KINBER believes in the strength of a vibrant, collaborative community that can work with leading technology firms to address challenges of common interest for the common good. By connecting organizations, building relationships and sharing services, libraries and other institutions can achieve far more together than they can alone.

 

E-rate Program

As an E-rate program participant, KINBER knows that planning ahead for your connectivity needs helps to streamline the application process and reduce headaches in the years ahead. If you haven’t worked with KINBER before, give us a call today to talk about how our services can benefit your organization. If you’re already a member, contact us with any questions you have about planning for your needs.

 

Why Libraries Love KINBER

  • KINBER’s enabling technology and connectivity will provide greater access to content and benefit to libraries and their communities.
  • KINBER can support and provide the infrastructure to:
    • Support enhanced POWER Library.
    • Provide eCourses and classes to build job readiness skills.
    • Enable video classes and tutorials.
  • KINBER can assist the library’s role in fostering Information Literacy by:
    • Deploying wireless access points.
    • Linking to academic libraries and repositories of complex research databases.
    • Offering high speed access.

PennREN, KINBER’s High Speed High Capacity Network

PennREN was built and is managed by KINBER. The network provides next generation broadband to non-profit organizations across 50 counties of Pennsylvania. It enables value-added services like Ultra (4K) high-definition (UHD) video, telepresence or videoconferencing, and data sharing. The collaborative environment also provides opportunities for member institutions to share best practices, content and programs across the network and save costs using KMEX, the KINBER Member Exchange.

Interested in accessing these services? Contact info@kinber.org for more information.

Library Highlights

Union County Library System and KINBER Extend Reliable Connectivity into Rural Areas and Strengthen the Economy

With goals of providing its users with more reliable, faster broadband connectivity to support its services and programs and of supporting county economic development, the Union County Library System (UCLS) contacted KINBER seeking a connection to PennREN, Pennsylvania’s statewide research, education and community network.

Serving the majority of Union County’s 39,587 residents, the federated UCLS was created in 1998 when the Union County Commissioners enacted a county-wide tax to support it. The three independent members of the system include the Herr Memorial Library in Mifflinburg, and the West End Library in Laurelton, and Lewisburg’s Public Library for Union County, which is designated as the system’s headquarters.

“We are honored to be among the first public libraries to be connected to KINBER,” said Roberta Greene, the director of Lewisburg’s library who also serves as the system administrator for the UCLS.

“My vision of the future of library services is best represented with the word BiblioTECH – loosely based on the word for library in many romance languages. Our desire is to balance our future services and collections to include books with digital formats and technology. KINBER is the foundation for that future,” she said.

Library users and staff have both commented on the difference in broadband speed that they can access at the library. Greene noted that wireless use in the Lewisburg building averages 1,500 to 1,600 sessions per month. She hopes that the library will be able to access some distance learning opportunities through other KINBER-connected institutions.

Greene credits Param Bedi from Bucknell University for convening community organizations who could benefit from this broadband superhighway several years ago, stating that the library or county would not have known about this opportunity without his introduction.

Reflecting on the process to connect, she noted that the greatest challenge was coordination between various entities: county government, 911 services within the county, and the private Internet company assisting with equipment installation. A structural study required by the county before utilization of their 911 tower for the library’s dish equipment was an unexpected hurdle.

However, Greene and her colleagues were not alone during the process. KINBER staff, in particular Member Relations Director Ken Barber, participated in all of the discussions leading up to the receipt of funding through Commonwealth Libraries. She said that Barber fielded questions, identified solutions, and ensured good communication between the various entities.

“We are fortunate to have secured additional grant funding to extend the broadband connection to the second system library,” said Greene. She noted that a remaining challenge to address is reaching the third location, which is the most rural and would reap the greatest benefit from improved access to broadband services.

“Our County Commissioners recognize that the lack of broadband access is a major obstacle for economic development. We want to position the library as a partner in extending connectivity throughout this rural county via the three public library locations,” she said.