Smitty Miller, Community Develop Librarian for Fraser Valley Regional Library (Abbotsford, British Columbia) “gets it.” She REALLY “gets it.” She “gets” that libraries need to be “in” the community, not just think the community is going to come “in” to the library. She “gets” that community development is about interaction and conversation. She “gets” that the library needs to be a fun, happening place, connecting with people where people are — “at food banks, shelters, senior homes, and other community hubs.” And she’s done it. WOW has she done it!
I had the absolute privilege of meeting Smitty 2 years ago when she’d been asked to lead the Library’s project to bring in a book mobile service. After doing her research into bookmobiles (if you want to know anything about bookmobiles, just ask her — the conversation is worth it – she’s infectious!), she put forth to the Library that developing deeper inroads (ok, the pun IS intended) with the community demanded a different type of librarymobile. Different they got.
- undercarriage glow (oh yeah!!)
- the back opens to reveal a mounted 40″ plasma digital display screen (used for online scavenger hunts & demos)
- external sound system, with wireless mic
- built-in bookshelf with giveaway books
- 2 laptop computers with 3G connectivity
- 2 Kobos & a Sony eReader
- an iPad2 & a Blackberry Playbook
- an Xbox Kinec
- and, of course, the car horn that plays OOOGA!
An “Abbotsford custom car fabrication business” donated close to $20,000 worth of the audio visual equipment, and the rest was funded by the provincial grant. And, there’s more — LiLi’s swag (giveaways) include books, all-access library passes (lanyards), mini tire gauge key chains, earbuds and branded sunglasses.
Congrats to Smitty, to Fraser Valley Regional Library, and to all those who have created LiLi. I hope she’s coming to a neighbourhood near you soon!