Library to expand WiFi to outside area

TROY — Free WiFi soon will be available during daylight hours at Brukner Park, located behind Troy-Miami County Public Library.

The WiFi, which will be administered by the library, is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the State Library of Ohio. It will be available from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, beginning April 1.

“We’ve seen people trying to use the library’s WiFi from the first row of our parking lot,” said Rachelle Via, library director. “Now as the weather improves, people will be able to spread out throughout the parking lot and also enjoy the park while they’re online.”

Logging onto the WiFi network will be the same outside of the library as it is inside, with a simple password posted at the park. The password allows for added security.

“We’re excited about the possibilities this offers. Throughout the pandemic we’ve seen patrons come into the library because they don’t have reliable home internet services,” Via said.

The effort was supported by the city of Troy. In their letter of support park superintendent Jeremy Drake said, “We recognize that the digital divide affects us all and are happy that our park spaces can be of such use.”

This expansion also serves the public in another way as well by expanding access to library offerings, which are in demand. In 2020 the library saw a 27 percent increase in the use of ebook and eAudiobook. The library also offers online help ranging from individual tutoring services to job training services, Consumer Reports, genealogy and more.

The Troy library modeled the Wi-Fi expansion project after the successful project at the Grandview Heights Public Library in Columbus.