At JCPL, we meet you where you are - it's the foundation of Library to You*, which delivers library services directly to individuals in the community. In 2019, we're so excited to expand these services with a new cargo van.
Making Library services even more accessible for our patrons, the cargo van allows us to bring the Library directly inside facilities, an opportunity many of our senior residents have been wanting for a while.
“The wonderful Library to You staff are our eyes and ears on the ground,” Padma Polepeddi, assistant director of library experience, said. “They noticed that they were no longer seeing some of their regulars aboard the Bookmobile service and wanted to know how they could help.”
Staff identified a greater need for support for those patrons experiencing Library-access barriers even aboard the Bookmobile. Walkers, wheel chairs, oxygen tanks and the small floor plan can often make it difficult for some patrons to board, check out books and receive the assistance they require.
Now, when the cargo van arrives at any location, staff quickly unload and set up carts of materials and library technology. This "lobby" library includes a browsing collection, holds pick up, returns, readers' advisory, reference and technology help. The van also offers public Wi-Fi, and staff are available for in-person library account support.
"It's similar to a mini-library," said Kelly Duran, Lakewood and Library to You manager. "Staff can set up almost anywhere to bring materials to those who can't come to us."
“[The cargo van] offers more opportunity to provide [our patrons] with a service closer to what they get in the Library, “ Grayson Stamm, Library to You patron experience supervisor, continued. “Patrons can browse, get help, checkout and access all of what JCPL has to offer.”
Through the new cargo van, "we hopefully [can] contribute in some small way to enhance the library experience for our elderly population," Padma said.
We'll pilot cargo van services at two senior facilities during the first part of the year, and we look forward to expanding all of our Library to You services in the years ahead.
"You have no idea how much [these services] mean to us. You are our lifeline," said one Library to You patron. And we aim to always be.