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The Buena Vista Public Library (BVPL) is adding two new free internet access points at the River Park and South Main Square.  The free, open Wi-Fi, available for residents and visitors, is funded largely by a federal grant awarded to the BVPL through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program (ECF). ECF aims to help schools and libraries keep students, staff, and patrons connected throughout the COVID-19 emergency.

Buena Vista Public Library. Courtesy image

“As one of the public entities eligible for this federal funding, the Library sought opportunities to bring support to the local level. The Wi-Fi locations allow more alternatives for those without Internet access and for visitors,” said Library Director Cecilia LaFrance.

In 2021, more than 16,000 unique users logged onto the library’s internet system at the library or through McPhelemy Park’s open connection.

“Wi-Fi use ranks among the highest in-demand resource at the Library,” said LaFrance. “Our county hosts more remote workers and students learning online than in prior years. The Library has been able to provide support, and we are grateful not to be limited in service by our physical address.”

The cooperation of the Town of Buena Vista in donating existing equipment made the parks ideal locations.

“The Town of Buena Vista is excited to expand our partnership with the Buena Vista Library and support their efforts to bring public Wi-Fi to our River Park and South Main Town Park areas,” said Phillip Puckett, Buena Vista Town Administrator. “Public parks allow for seating and accessibility and often serve as settings for community events where Wi-Fi may benefit guests and vendors. River Park, in particular, hosts residents and spectators at sporting events and has ample parking and facilities to accommodate users.

The Buena Vista Public Library has served residents in Northern Chaffee County, CO, since 1887. More information about the library’s resources and programs can be found on their website.