“Libraries can seem like an unwelcoming place for some people,” says Smitty Miller, Community Development Librarian for the Fraser Valley Regional Library. “If you can’t read, do you go to a library? If you’re super cool, do you go to the library? No way. The library is only for nerdy brainiacs! That’s what a lot of people think.”
And she aims to do something about that misconception as the Tour Manager for Library Live and On Tour. Part community outreach and part public relations, Library Live and On Tour will focus on connecting with individuals who might not otherwise walk into library buildings, by visiting food banks, shelters, senior homes, and other community hubs.
Library Live and On Tour will also promote the library at festivals, fairs, and parades all over the Fraser Valley beginning in April.
It’s all centered around a ‘souped-up’ Nissan Cube. Due in large part to a generous donation from Abbotsford custom car shop—360 Fabrication, Inc.—the little car will sport a very ‘un-library-like’ full-vehicle wrap and under-carriage glow, a permanently mounted 40” plasma digital display screen , external music and public address system, a built-in bookshelf with brand new books to give away and a ‘gadget bar’ complete with tablet computers, eReaders, audiobook technology and laptops.
“We’re going to turn up the volume and shatter your image of libraries.” says Smitty. “And that’s a good thing because we’re a lot more relevant to your life than you think we are!”
Library Live and On Tour will make its first public appearance at a school fundraiser, the ACE Silent Auction and BBQ on April 17, 11a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Agassiz Legion.