In today’s library world, it is important for libraries to embrace delivering services to the public outside the constraints of their brick and mortar facilities. At the Natrona County Library, we do just that, and often take some of our most popular services “on the road.”
Without a doubt, our most commonly known “on the road” library service is our Bookmobile. Our Bookmobile Coordinator works with daycares, preschools, elementary schools, and senior resident facilities to schedule stops, and makes many community stops as well (including stops in Alcova, Paradise Valley, Bar Nunn, and Powder River). The Bookmobile is a convenient place for users to check out and return books, movies, and other items. At most stops the Bookmobile Coordinator hosts a StoryTime for kids where he reads a selected book and guides children through critical evaluation of the story.
Also venturing out into the community is our Youth Services staff, who interact with elementary-aged children at schools, clubs, and local events. They offer a wide variety of services, including StoryTimes, crafting, and hands-on experiences. In addition, they host a mind-boggling variety of programs, presenters, and experiences as part of our summer reading program.
Our Teen Librarian can be seen hosting several different book clubs at various local coffee shops, and presents book talks and programs at junior high and high schools, as well as programs aimed at teaching parenting skills while offering support and reference materials to help put teen parents on a path toward success.
Our newest “on the road” service comes from our Adult Services Department. Books on Tap is an adults only (21+) twist to a traditional book club which will have participants discussing a selected reading while enjoying the laid-back environment at either Frontier Brewing Company and Tap, The Gaslight Social, or Backwards Distilling Company. Books on Tap kicks things off February 8 at Frontier Brewing Company and Taproom where participants will share and discuss Mohsin Hamid’s “Exit West.” The Adult Services Department also hosted book discussions at other places in town, including Fort Caspar and the Bart Rea Learning Circle.
While much of what we take “on the road” focuses on books, we facilitate creative experiences as well. We host a variety of hands-on crafting opportunities during the Art Walk, typically outside on Prometheus Plaza near our Second Street entrance. We also host virtual reality events both in the Library and throughout the community. At last year’s NIC Fest, participants enjoyed creating 3D virtual art, and our virtual reality equipment has made its appearance at fundraising and other community events, and is always a popular draw.
Of course, we also offer a variety of digital services that can be accessed 24/7/365 via the internet. These services include digital content (eBooks, eMagazines, eAudiobooks, and movies) and many of our databases.
When it comes to taking library services into the community, we are always on the lookout for new and creative ways to serve and engage our patrons. Be on the lookout for us—you never know where we will pop up!