21st Century Library (Part 2): Thinking Outside the Building
In Part 1 of our series, “21st Century Library,” we showed you what you can do at the library. In this edition, you’ll see what it brings to you.
A farmer’s market is an unusual place to get a book, but thanks to Hennepin County Library, you can. The pop-up location sets up shop at the Brooklyn Park Farmers Market. It’s an attempt to reach patrons that might not come to the physical building.
Librarian Kay Yang-Cha says she’s noticed what she describes as underserved populations. Programs like this are ways the system is reaching out to them.
Bringing the Library to You
But they’re not just at farmers markets. At Heathers Manor Assisted Living in Crystal, residents who would have trouble going to the library, don’t have to because it comes to them. Hennepin County Library Outreach Services brings books for check-out, as well as supplying materials like large print and audio books for an on-site book club.
Plus, there are programs like “Green Card Voices,” a traveling exhibit showcasing the stories of immigrants, meant to spark conversation. That’s brought to places like Heathers Manor by Outreach Services too.
“It’s great, especially that they’ve decided to focus on senior citizens.” says Heathers Manor’s Stacy Reynolds-Ondov. “Here at the Heathers we have 93 residents, average age 92, and getting their opinion and their thoughts is very important.”
The Library from Your Living Room
While Outreach Services delivers materials to assisted living centers, homebound seniors, and even people in prison, folks at home can also get services online. Services like learning site Lynda.com, car repair manual provider Alldata, and even free online tutoring for students, and if you have a Hennepin County Library card, it’s all free.
Of course, all of these services, plus running the 41 physical locations, takes a lot of coordination behind the scenes. In our next installment, we’ll explore how the they do it.