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Somerville Public Library Wi-Fi Pop-Up

Somerville Library Wi-Fi Pop-Up at dark with glowing lights

January 2021–October 2021

79 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA

With no indoor Wi-Fi access due to COVID-19 restrictions at their Central Branch, we partnered with the Somerville Public Library to open up a new kind of pop-up. In the courtyard of the Library, we constructed a heated, covered, and lighted structure with places for 4 parties. Our partners at Mass Mesh set up a free wireless network in the pop-up for people to use with their own device, or one borrowed from the Library.

The project was featured on the Project for Public Spaces blog with a detailed write-up on the process of creating the space. Read the post here.

Pallets, umbrellas, and chairs make a outdoor seating area in the courtyard of the Somerville Public Library
Somerville Library WiFi Pop Up front view
Somerville Library Wi-Fi Pop-Up at dark with glowing lights

Due to some courtyard construction in February 2021, we were asked to move the Wi-Fi pop-up to a new location. We did not fret! We moved the pop-up to an ordinary looking sidewalk, bringing more life and activity to the library’s facade. Our modular and mobile pop-up design made it easy to adapt to any situation and environment thrown at us.

Somerville WiFi PopUp
Somerville WiFi PopUp
Somerville Library WiFi Pop Up

Where is it now?

Though the pop-up Wi-Fi space was only planned to last a few months, it proved popular and the Library kept it around! As of Spring 2022 (over a year later), the space was still operational and the library even invested in a more powerful and permanent Wi-Fi router.

In summer 2021, we brought the Wi-Fi Pop-Up space model to the Boston Public Library (BPL) to inspire the activation of their free outdoor wifi zones. View the project here.


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