United Way of the Tri-Valley Area grants Farmington Public Library funds for a new WiFi system

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The Farmington Public Library has received a grant from United Way to install an updated WiFi system.

FARMINGTON — After receiving a $2,000 grant from the United Way’s Very Basics Fund, the Farmington Public Library will be installing a new WiFi system with better reliability and a wider band of accessibility for community members. The library has been planning for a WiFi update for
several months, taking steps to raise money for the effort with the community’s help. This included two book sales in the fall. The first sale was in October at the Narrow Gauge Theater’s Outdoor Craft Fair, and the second was on Halloween of this past year. The library raised approximately $1,000 but was still short the funds needed for the new WiFi system.

United Way stepped in to fund the remaining amount, noting the importance of reliable technology and the thoroughness of the grant request. Without the support of both the fund itself and the members that make up the United Way organization, small-scale community improvements such as this wouldn’t be possible. The Very Basics Fund is a grant program associated with United Way which allocates funds to non-profit organizations who feel they are under-resourced in their current position. According to Library Director Jessica Casey, though the effort might seem small, it has a large impact.

“The update should improve the library’s internet speeds and reduce technical problems
significantly,” said Casey.

The new system will also decrease the number of routers in the building, simplifying the maintenance and use of the system for the library staff. Instead of having several routers throughout the building, all with varying rates of reliability, there will be one network for the community to access.

With the continuation of the pandemic, the library has had to limit in-building visits, which leaves many patrons without access to the library’s internet, a resource they’ve been able to utilize with ease in previous years. Some patrons have tried to sit outside on the library grounds or within the parking lot to continue to use the internet, but with the current WiFi network, this is unreliable and often leads to connectivity issues. The update will address this new need, expanding the range to the areas surrounding the library.

Casey would also like to thank community member’s involvement in helping this effort come to fruition.

“The community has helped make this project possible by participating in the library’s book sale fundraisers, and also by contributing to the United Way’s The Very Basics Fund,” said Casey.

The library will be using Expenet for the update, and while there is no set timeframe yet, materials have been ordered and the installation date will be scheduled soon. For more information on the United Way’s The Very Basics Fund, visit the following website here: https://www.uwtva.org/what-we-do/funding/very-basics-fund

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