To address service gap, Connecticut libraries are now looking to check you out
Connecticut’s state library system is participating in a project to help bring libraries and their services to more people in local communities.
The 12-month program, Libraries Without Borders U.S., will open pop-up and satellite libraries in locations, like grocery stores or laundromats, to break down barriers to services and resources.
“To help libraries in Connecticut better engage, high need, unserved or underserved communities, especially those low-income communities, immigrant refugee communities and communities of color,” said Dawn LaValle, director of the division of library development at the Connecticut State Library. “So, we’re working with six libraries across the state to enhance outreach capacity, build trust and grow habits that ultimately help connect new users to the resources available through their local public library.”
LaValle called the program "first in the nation" — eventually libraries from across the country will participate in about a year. In Connecticut, the six libraries are based in areas across the state that have traditionally been underserved.
Willimantic Public Library in Windham will be using their book bike.
“So, it will allow us to reach different places or bring more materials than we would have if we’d had to carry it in a crate or something like that,” said Dan Paquette, Willimantic library manager. “Sometimes we bring books to just give away or sometimes we’ll bring out books that are library books that we’ll check out. We’ll be able to bring a laptop with us and sign people up for library cards, help them learn how to use databases, show them our online resources, those kinds of things.”
“We’re really excited to bring a wide variety of what the library offers but on a smaller scale to wherever people are hanging out,” he continued.