Wireless network FAQs

How do I connect?

  1. On your laptop or mobile device, locate the Wi-Fi network "Menlo Park Library" and connect
  2. Open a web browser to view and accept the library's wireless usage policy. If the policy page does not load, point your browser to

  3. Once you click "Accept" you will be redirected to the library's website, and can access the Internet.

What if I still can't connect?

Please try the following steps:

  1. Does it work for others in your area of the library? If yes, continue with #2. If no, please tell library staff. You may have to move to another part of the library where reception is better until the problem is fixed.
  2. Check that your wireless card is set to use automatic addressing (DHCP). It might not be set this way if you use other specific Wi-Fi network settings when at home or work.

  3. Check that your wireless card is turned on. Many laptops provide a switch or keyboard combination to turn the wireless card on/off.

  4. Check if Windows is preventing you from automatically connecting. Windows may detect the network, but will not connect until you tell it to do so. (This is especially true when it detects an "unsecured" network, like at Menlo Park Library.)

  5. Try temporarily disabling your firewall software, and see if there is any change. If so, you may have to change the firewall settings to allow the wireless connection. (You should not leave the firewall turned off while browsing the Internet.)

  6. In Windows Network Connections, if you see an IEEE 1394 connection, try disabling it (right click, disable).

  7. If you are using an iPad or MacBook with Safari browser, try opening another browser (if you have it) and typing in the URL mentioned in question #1.

Where can I use the Menlo Park Library wireless network?

The network is accessible from any place in the library, including the outside patio and the downstairs conference room.

Why won't my apps work when I'm on the network?

Users must accept the library's wireless policy via a browser in order to connect the device to the wireless connection. Once connected, your apps will begin to work.

Why do I need to accept the policy?

The policy must be accepted in order to confirm understanding that the wireless connection is wide open, meaning it is not secure. It also confirms acceptance and understanding of rules and regulations of wireless use.

Do I need to accept the policy every time I start a new connection?

The policy must be accepted once a day per device. By accepting the policy, it protects both you and the library by reminding the user that the wireless connection is not a secure connection.

What do you mean the wireless connection is not secure?

The library wireless network is an "open" or "unsecured" network and does not require passwords, certificates, or applications to connect. Thus it does not protect the information on your laptop from malicious users on the same network, nor does it protect information transmitted when using the Internet. Gathered from various Internet sources, here are some tips to make your use of an unsecured wireless network safer:

  • Install firewall software to guard against incoming network attacks
  • Install and frequently update anti-virus software, preferably one that scans Internet traffic as it passes to and from the host system
  • Install anti-spyware software
  • Avoid checking confidential accounts or making personal transactions online when using a wireless connection.
  • If you do check confidential accounts (including web-based email) or make transactions, be sure the web site uses a secured (https://) connection.
  • If using POP3 to check your email, contact your email provider and see if they support an SSL connection.
  • Minimize the amount of time you are exposed to network threats by disconnecting from the wireless network when you're not using it.
  • Consider a VPN service, which creates an encrypted connection to the service and routes all your Internet traffic through that.

Do you filter websites or web content?


Why can't I send email using my mail client (Windows Live Mail / Outlook Express / Thunderbird / etc.)?

SMTP is blocked to restrict spammers from sending email from our public WiFi networks. Any issues with spam coming from our networks could result in the City being blacklisted by major email hosts such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, MSN Mail, etc. You can send email through a web browser as an alternative.

If there are too many users, will I be blocked from using the wireless network?


What does "laptop-friendly table" mean?

It is a place with an electrical outlet nearby, in case you need to plug in your laptop.

How fast is the Internet connection?

The connection is comparable to average DSL / Cable modem service, but your speed will vary depending on traffic from other Wi-Fi users in the library and beyond. MPL uses 802.11n access points, and has a fiber optic connection to the Internet. The wireless network has been allocated a portion of this connection, which is shared among users, so your speed will vary.