Library launching bookmobile campaign

Looking to future library trends, the James V. Brown Library will launch a Bookmobile campaign in Spring 2020, Barbara S. McGary, the library’s executive director told the library trustees on Thursday. The program is expected to be implemented in 2021.

McGary noted that in the next six months the staff at the library will be “doing their homework” prior to the official launch.

“This is the process — it’s really important because we’re launching a new vision of service — that we make sure we do our homework, where we want to go and what we want to do,” she said.

She added that during the next six months, the leadership team and members of the staff will be meeting with library partners and facilities which have asked them to come, in order to do a full-fledged community needs assessment to be used when applying for 2020 grant money for the project.

McGary said that the library is looking to raise around $500,000 during the campaign.

During the board meeting, McGary shared how trends in library usage have changed with the focus less on circulating materials and more on programming.

“It’s a revolution of a new service model…we think it’s amazing,” she said. “We want to go where the people are.”

“This is what libraries need to do and need to become. They need to go where they are and establish the deep connections with the people that you serve. It is no longer a transactional relationship,” she said.

She noted that many of the people currently served by the Bookmobile are in rural areas or are an aging population with transportation issues, which can result in isolation.

“It is bringing the life-changing stories, the knowledge of the outside world to people with transportation mobility issues,” McGary said of the changing role of the Bookmobile staff.

Because of this change in library trends, McGary said, the library is actually seeking to replace the current 2010 Bookmobile with three specialized vehicles. These would be designed to serve three specific populations: a child-care vehicle to meet the expanding demands for the Storymobile; a mobile-lending library to serve the needs of the rural population and to go to corporate stops and a vehicle to specifically serve as a senior care facility outreach.

“Really a whole new dimension in the way you’re going to offer the services,” said Thomas B. Burkholder, board president.

In other business, McGary reported to the board under facility and capital improvements, 26 security cameras will be installed in the library this week. The cameras were purchased from Compu-Gen at a cost of $22,945. New carpet for the vintage second floor is expected to be installed Aug. 26 at a cost of $11,227. People counters are already installed and in operation. McGary noted that the counters are designed to keep separate statistics for children’s visits. They were sponsored by the Friends of the Library at a cost $7,437.

Statistics from the summer learning program at the library revealed that the majority of camps and programs have been filled to capacity, with 499 children and teens registered for summer learning. Participation in the Storymobile program, where teachers in classrooms in pre-schools and day cares commit to read to their students every day, has increased by six over last year for a total of 68 classrooms.

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