March 24, 2008

inSingapore: “Laptopping” at the library

Posted in Travel and Culture tagged , , , , at 12:39 am by myrlinn

There’s a fairly new phenomenon in Singapore —  “laptopping” at the library. That’s what I’M calling it anyway.

Walk into a public library these days, and don’t be surprised if you see people sitting on the floor near plug points, with laptop in front of them

Why? Free BROADBAND WiFi access.

As someone who loves surfing the net, I can certainly understand why that’s a huge carrot. Certainly worth the inconvenience of having to sit on the library floor hunched over your laptop. And as a bonus, there’s free electricity as well.

Some of these users have managed to make themselves quite comfortable actually — propped against walls with benches pulled up in front of them to serve as tables.

Other have to contend with more awkward positions, especially those who could only find points next to the library bookshelves (there are often points on the pillars — I assume those were originally put there for vacuum cleaners and such?). These by-the-pillar “laptoppers” get to have people who are browsing the shelves walking round them every so often.

It’s quite fascinating to see the wide range of people who go ‘laptopping’ at the library… from students (which is probably not too surprising), to the middle-aged (a little weird to see them sitting scrunched up on the floor), to foreign workers.

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