Case Study- Pop Up Libraries: Taking the Library to the People!

 

Pop_UpA library’s mission stretches far beyond its physical building and the thousands of resources they contain. With bookmobiles, remotely accessible digital collections, online educational courses, patron outreach services, and more, libraries are engaging with community members beyond the brick-and-mortar walls of their institutions. Early in 2019, eight intrepid public library systems joined with Baker & Taylor to use an innovative technology for community outreach and new patron activation called Pop Up Library. These libraries–Palo Alto Public and San Francisco Public, CA; Broward County and Orange County, FL; Fulton County, GA; Evanston Public Library, IL; Morris County Library, NJ and Oxford County Library, ON–worked with local business and government agency partners to activate Pop Up Library network devices. The Pop Up Libraries give instant access to library books where people are waiting for services or enjoying part of their day.  By providing free eBooks at partner locations, Pop Up Library engages people to sign up for services that they might not have been aware their library provides.  Pop Up Library is a simple and effective program for boosting awareness, driving usage and engaging undeserved segments of a library’s community.

THE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT CHALLENGE

Dedicated staff at innovative libraries strive to find creative ways to engage community members who are often unaware of the many services and resources their library offers, or who may not be able to access its physical location. There are barriers for citizens, especially among populations who are often disadvantaged and underserved, in reaching a library, and this is part of a growing conversation around open access. So, if physically getting people to the library is not practical, how can a library reach out and bring its many resources out to where those people are?

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Case Study- Chattanooga Public Library: “It’s About the Community We Serve”

CLS has allowed us to take our customer service to a much higher level. Now we have the inventory people want, it looks good, and it’s on the shelves in a timely fashion. It’s amazing how the word spreads.

– Corinne Hill | Executive Director, Chattanooga Public Library

ABOUT CHATTANOOGA PUBLIC LIBRARY 
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Founded in 1905, Chattanooga Public Library delivers books, electronic resources, and activities to a growing population of 177,000 in an area undergoing an economic revitalization. With three branches and a main library downtown, the library serves a community notable for its increasing diversity of cultures, education levels, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

 

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THE CHALLENGE

Failing. Irrelevant. In 2009, when the city of Chattanooga hired an independent consultant to assess the problems of its chronically underfunded, underutilized public libraries, the feedback was brutal. The library was seen as stuck in the past, with little to offer either to longtime residents or to the many young families moving to the area. One problem was the library’s technical services, which hadn’t evolved in decades. New materials took weeks or months to be processed and appear on the shelves. As a result, the city’s readers had become accustomed to bypassing the library in favor of retailers or simply doing without.

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Sterling Municipal Library: Proven Success in Axis 360 Awareness Days

“For a successful awareness program, you’ve got to make it personal. Whether it’s in-library or online, people want more than information. They want to laugh and feel a real connection.”

– Jenna Harte-Wisiniewski | Marketing Librarian, Sterling Municipal Library

ABOUT STERLING MUNICIPAL LIBRARY

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With roots dating back to 1925, Sterling Municipal Library serves a population of 75,000 in Baytown, Texas, an industrial city anchored by oil refineries and chemical plants. The present library, dedicated in 1963, provides a wide variety of traditional books, reference materials, digital resources, and activities for a patron base that is largely blue-collar and extremely ethnically diverse.

THE CHALLENGE

Located in the Greater Houston area, Sterling Municipal Library in Baytown first began offering eBooks and other digital resources to its 50,337 card holders through a consortium with other libraries on the Gulf Coast. But with an area-wide population of 6.2 million and more than 90,000 card holders, competition was fierce. “For popular titles, the wait list on the consortiums system can be as long as 58 weeks,” says marketing librarian Jenna Harte-Wisiniewski.

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San Bernardino County Library: “Our Business is Books”

In this day and age, when people aren’t always convinced that they need libraries, we’re busier than ever, and we’re trending up. Part of that is having a reliable vendor that’s going to get us the books, and we’ve found that with Baker & Taylor. The results are better circulation and a real excitement among the staff because now we have the good stuff and a whole lot more customers.

– Leonard Hernandez San Bernardino County Library

ABOUT SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY LIBRARYsanbernadino

Founded in 1913, the San Bernardino County Library system serves a population of two million in the largest county by area in the United States—larger than the four smallest U.S. states combined. Thirty-two branches meet the challenge of serving this large population and enormous geographical area with books, electronic resources, Internet services, and a variety of programs for youth and adults.

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THE CHALLENGE

Like most California libraries, San Bernardino County Library was hit with extensive budget cuts in 2010 as the shock waves of the financial crash hit county government. The question wasn’t whether the library budget would be slashed—it was where and how to absorb the cuts and still deliver services to customers.

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