About a month ago, inspired by Kim Kardashian racing go-karts with Kanye West in Paris after the launch of his fashion line, I decided to go on an adventure to a local indoor track and try my hand at low-stakes racing. The day ended with me remembering how nice it is to be mobile (as I haven’t had a car since…well, ever…) and that helmet hair is no joke.
Mobility is one of those topics that librarians think about a lot. We are constantly thinking about new and more innovative ways to get our message, and our resources, to more members of the community. Especially here at the Public Law Library, where we make it a point to provide services people in various locations around the country, either via the phone or email. But one library has taken the concept of mobility and turned it on its head.
Fraser Valley Regional Library, located in British Columbia, recently unveiled a new approach to outreach. When it became apparent that the traditional go-to library mobile initiative—a bookmobile—was not a practical or affordable option, the Fraser Valley Library decided to create a venture titled Library Live and On Tour. As explained in this article, “The centrepiece of the initiative is a highly noticeable and surprising little vehicle (LiLi) with very un-library-like enhancements, like a kick-ass audio system with external marine speakers, custom sub box, on-board amps/inverters/power sources, built in XBox 360 Kinect, wireless microphone system, multi-color underglow lighting, mag wheels, AOOGA horn, 2-3G Internet-connected laptops and ‘gadget bar’ (3 different eReaders, 2 tablets, Playaway books, Daisy player).”
In one month, the library has given away over 200 books, made 14 community stops, including local food banks and shelters and waived over $1,000 fines. With 63 events planned before the end of 2012, this “Hot Rod” style of outreach has redefined the idea of a day at the library.