Literally Mobile Libraries

Although today’s digital technology opens the door to global information and resources like never before, in some parts of the world, accessibility to educational resources is still a challenge. But innovative librarians are finding ways to solve these barriers to access, and have reinvented the way they deliver their services (whether online or offline) to its remote patrons.

This past summer, Igor Smirnoff, VP Digital, and Mark Ritchie, Director of Library Services & Distribution, were in Port Stephens, Australia, attending a library conference when they came across an unusual but ingenious way that the local libraries were promoting their services – with RVs.

The large recreational vehicles were gutted, repurposed and redesigned to become literal “libraries on wheels.” Fully furnished with bookshelves overloaded with the latest novels and bestsellers, as well as two computer terminals, these mobile libraries drove from community to community, making stops in neighborhoods. Visitors were allowed to take out books and use the RV’s digital services just as they would at their traditional libraries.

And all the way in Bogota, Colombia, librarians have taken their books to the street – literally. There are currently more than 47 library stations dispersed in various neighborhoods in the city, each manned by a volunteer for 12 hours a week. These stations are places where library patrons can go to read books, and where students can receive free help with their school assignments.

Library stations are a fairly new innovation with a great many of them springing up in cities like New York, San Jose and areas in the UK. In the summer of 2012, North America saw it’s very first 24-hour, automated library station launched Norman, Oklahoma.

Library PressDisplay is yet another solution libraries around the world have been relying upon to combat challenges of distance and access. With a host of authentication methods supported, library patrons can easily access more than two thousand full-content newspapers and magazines from home or on the go. In Nordic countries like Sweden, where weather  can affect  the timely delivery of newspapers, Library PressDisplay is the most viable solution  to receive publications.