Tauranga Library needs to get with the times and install a wireless internet service, say frustrated students.
Tertiary students who headed to the library to study for exams were disappointed to find they could not connect to online resources because the library did not have a Wi-Fi service - a basic requirement for any modern library, they said.
Tauranga City Libraries manager Jill Best said technical problems had delayed the installation of the service, adding that it was hoped the problem would be resolved in the next few weeks.
Engineering student Rowan Meredith lives in Tauranga but studies in Hamilton. With exams looming last week he took his laptop to the library, hoping to find a quiet place to study.
He was shocked to find he could not access online materials because the library did not have Wi-Fi.
"I pay over $3000 in rates a year and the library can't provide a simple wireless service, do they know what year it is? It's surprising they even have power," he said.
Libraries were supposed to be centres for knowledge, places where people could freely access information, Mr Meredith said.
"They are not even utilising the most employed source of information gathering and sharing in our world today. Even McDonald's has free Wi-Fi and they just make food."
Social work student Laree Payne said she studied in the library because of the reference materials available.
However, using the internet was an essential part of study for students these days. Ms Payne said she would pay for a wireless service, however she would prefer not to as she was on a tight budget.
Mrs Best said the lack of Wi-Fi at the library was a common complaint.
"The Tauranga Library gets several complaints each day about the lack of Wi-Fi service, mostly from travellers," she said.
"The library was scheduled to have Wi-Fi service available six weeks ago, but the external provider has had some technical issues to resolve. Technical delays are due to setting up the charging facility.
"The library Wi-Fi service will charge out at $2 per hour. There is increasing expectation that Wi-Fi should be a free service but the library does not yet have that sort of mandate from council.
"Wi-Fi has been included in ongoing discussions with the elected members as part of the library Level of Service Review."
Council staff were hoping to have a Wi-Fi service available at the central library within a couple of weeks, after which it would be rolled out at Mt Maunganui and Greerton libraries.
Installing Wi-Fi at Papamoa Library would take a bit longer because the council's fast broadband was not yet available in that area, Mrs Best said.
Free Wi-Fi coverage is provided for most of central Tauranga by local service provider EOL, however there is a download limit of 25MB per device per day.
More than 10,000 people accessed the free service in October.
The students said the EOL signal was weak in the library and the download limit was not large enough for their purposes.