Space adjacent to the Upshur County Public Library will be transformed into a parklet where folks can enjoy the views while accessing Wifi outside of the library, thanks to a grant from AARP. UCPL Assistant Director Beth Rogers wrote the grant after library personnel noticed folks sitting in their vehicles outside the library during COVID and after hours to gain access to internet connections. The space is for the community to be able to enjoy and use for WiFi access.

Library secures grant to fund WiFi parklet

TENNERTON – New greenspace with seating, a picnic table and internet access will soon be available to everyone, thanks to an innovative plan by Upshur County Public Library Assistant Director Beth Rogers and a grant from AARP.

Rogers said Thursday she wrote the grant to build the greenspace because she and others felt it was needed and wanted to provide an area for folks to sit and a place for people to access internet WiFi before and after the UCPL opens and closes — and on days it is not open.

“This is an AARP Community Challenge Grant,” Rogers said. “It is a quick action grant, and they are intended to be brought to fruition in a short period of time and are intended to make livable communities that are better for people of all ages.”

Rogers said the Upshur County Public Library intends to build a small parklet beside the main library building.

“This will become a community greenspace by tearing down a small part of our garage,” Rogers said. “Then, we will reseed the grass and put in picnic tables, a bench swing and provide functional space for people who may need to use WiFi after hours.”

She and others have noticed people sitting in the UCPL parking lot in their cars typing so they can access the internet.

“We have seen lots of people sitting in their vehicles typing,” Rogers said. “We needed to make the outside of our space as useful as we can. This project will make the outside of our library more appealing and will create some greenspace where people can come, and it will make getting access to WiFi easier for people who are still not comfortable coming into the library or those who need WiFi access before and after the library opens and closes and on days we are not open.”

Rogers said the grant funding provided by AARP amounted to $13,000.

“It really comes down to connecting the library to the community and making us more responsive to what the community needs,” Rogers said.

She hopes the project will be completed in October to allow time for folks to utilize the space before the cold weather arrives.

The Upshur County Public Library is located at 1150 Route 20 South Rd. in Buckhannon. Their hours are Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Additional information is available on their website at, on Facebook, or by calling 304-473-4219.

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