Westfield Washington Public Library Increases Patron Access with Outreach Vehicle • Current Edition
The Westfield Washington Public Library is growing in more ways than one. In addition to having a new, larger building under construction near Westfield Boulevard, the library recently added a motorized vehicle to reach more patrons.
The outreach vehicle van is equipped to hold books, DVDs, and other library materials. A librarian will travel in the vehicle to areas such as seniors’ residences to make materials available to patrons who may not be able to visit the library.
“It’s kind of a thought we’ve had for a very long time as we were developing our strategic plan and going to assisted living settings and being present at community events so that we don’t have to carry a table around,” WWPL executive director Sheryl Sollars said.
Sollars said the cost of the van and materials was $200,000 and was paid for with a $500,000 bond issued in 2020.
“It was listed as one of the projects we wanted to fund,” Sollars said.
The vehicle was delivered to the library on April 14. Users can browse the shelves, check in or out of documents, request a library card and use an on-board computer.
Sollars said the library purchased additional equipment for the vehicle so it wouldn’t affect the library’s collection. The van can hold 1,700 books and up to 2,000 documents in total, including DVDs. The vehicle has a retractable awning and is equipped with Wi-Fi.
“It will also be able to hold six mobile carts that can hold around 100 books, so in total it could hold up to around 2,500 items or more,” Sollars said.
WWPL plans to visit underserved neighborhoods, local parks and community events in the future in the vehicle. To request a mobile visit, call 317-896-9391.