Digitization 101 notes that the United States has 119,487 libraries ꟷ more libraries indeed than McDonald’s Restaurants. However, the blog goes on to warn that library deserts are emerging across the country as funding dries up, pointing out that the U.S. only ranks 62nd in a worldwide study of libraries per capita. In many neighborhoods, independent “little free libraries” have begun to address gaps in services, giving residents a free way to share and enjoy media.
Dedicated to community improvement, little free libraries typically are run by the community and centered on providing free, accessible entertainment for everyone. Spin-offs of the concept include little free food pantries and community closets, but even these are operated in much the same fashion as their book and media counterparts.
These tiny libraries thrive on voluntary contribution and participation, and most are operated by individuals, charities, churches, synagogues, mosques, or small businesses. Littlefreelibrary.com reports more than 50,000 registered tiny libraries around the world, with most of them scattered across the United States. While little libraries may be accessed by anyone, those seeking to make their libraries easier to use or more interactive for community members may wish to track usage data while also keeping tabs on inventory. Cellular IoT networks are perfect for this task and can help little library operators do everything from letting users see what books are checked out to making the library easier to find. With Neo, little library sponsors easily and cheaply can put their location online or even link multiple locations throughout a community.
Choosing your Equipment
SIM cards are easy to use and can be safely operated outdoors when housed in the proper equipment, making them ideal for traditional outdoor little libraries. Do you have a GPS tracker you want to add to your library stand to prevent theft? In most cases, SIM cards will integrate perfectly with such technology. Want to track peak borrowing times for your location to ensure you can restock when needed? Consider connecting SIM cards to an RFID-driven sensor. Properly connected to the cloud, the sensor can alert you when the little library’s doors are opened. Monitoring your little library with RFID sensors can help you measure the number of users in a given time period. You even can let users place book requests for your little library by posting the number of a connected SMS device. Linked with SIM cards, the device can forward requests to your personal number or directly to the cloud.
Getting Started: Setting Up Your IoT Little Library
To get started, check out this service coverage map and take into consideration the specific SIM-based applications you plan on using. Once you’ve found the coverage level that works for you, going forward is as simple as placing your order, waiting for the cards to arrive, and activating them. You even can get help along the way from others in the IoT community via this user support forum.
Do you want to check in on your little library a few times a day or do you need live, up-to-the-minute updates? While 2G or 3G may work for those needing only occasional information, library hosts who want more dynamic, detailed information may want to opt for 4G LTE coverage.
Activating Your Equipment
Activating your SIM cards is as simple as following the mailed directions shipped with your package. Let’s say you’ve ordered a SIM from us to live broadcast a weekly story-time picnic from your little library. You’ll need a SIM card-compatible web camera and can connect it directly to your broadcasting platform. After receiving your SIM card in the mail, the next step would be to assign the SIM card to your account. This will ensure that the SIM card is secure and that no one else can use it. Following through with this step is particularly important for little free libraries as you may go long stretches of time without directly handling your equipment or checking up on it, meaning you need some secure way to ensure that your setup is not being misused.
For webcam broadcasts, this step would ensure that your transmission cannot be redirected or hacked by outside users. The next step is to program the device with NEO APN to ensure data is transmitting across the Neo network. Finally, you will transmit a packet data session to test the connection before actually sending critical information over the network. Once these steps have been completed, your little library will be ready to join the Internet of Things! Bear in mind that you will need to repeat these steps for each SIM card you purchase and install.
Why Neo? Better Services for LessNeo offers comprehensive, pre-packaged coverage throughout the country, and our SIM cards are ready for almost any job. Delivering directly to your door, our website is an easy to use, self-service platform with live chat help. Whether you are looking to keep a closer eye on your little free library or enhance services for users, our SIM cards will put your service back on the map. Bypass contracts, hidden terms, and choose pricing that fits your budget with Neo.