Diversity & Outreach Columns ALA's Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services


Welcome Aboard!

By Jan Meadows, Bookmobile Supervisor, Pikes Peak Library District.

This is a brand new column supported by American Library Association/Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (ALA/OLOS) and I am happy you have found your way to it!

Our goal for this column is to provide information, answers, successful program reviews, interviews with interesting Bookmobile staff like yourself, and any other exciting ideas or news that comes our way about Bookmobile Service. So I will be depending on all of you out there in the Bookmobile world to let me know what you are doing or wanting to know. Then we can share it with everyone right here!

The Office of Literacy and Outreach Services Strategic Planning Committee, organized in Fall of 2002 by our fearless leader, Satia Marshall Orange, Director of OLOS, and her fantastic staff, is committed to promoting Bookmobile Service (as well as all other literacy and outreach services) and offering the training and support we all need to make our service the best it can be.

Last year at ALA in Atlanta, OLOS hosted a preconference “Adult Literacy and Outreach in Libraries: Different Voices, Common Quest.”. One of the Service Delivery Area Discussion Groups was “Mobile Library Service” where all the Bookmobile folks got together and came up with strategies for strengthening our service, expanding or changing our service, gaining the community and library’s support and identifying future projects and programs to enhance service. We then made a list of “tools” and outcomes we would like see as a result of the preconference. In a future column I would like to share all of the ideas we came up with in our discussion group. For now, just let me say what an energizing experience it was to meet like that and put down on paper the ideas we had and the aid we need. All of the information collected from each of the Service Delivery Area groups gave the OLOS Strategic Planning Committee plenty of material with which to build a strategic plan. There is still a lot to accomplish, but with the above-mentioned work, we at least have the nose of Bookmobile Service out of the dark garage!

Last year and again this year, OLOS sponsored Bookmobile sessions at ALA. Is that exciting or what!?

In Atlanta the session was “To Bookmobile or Not! A Management and Community Decision”. This June in Toronto, the “Urban Bookmobiles” session will highlight three Urban Bookmobile Services and then questions and discussion will follow. Personally, that is my favorite part, when we can just get together and share our problems, questions, ideas and successes.

The session is Sunday, June 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and will be held in the Novotel Hotel. Confirm the location in your final conference program.

I hope I’ll see YOU there!

I also hope we can meet from time to time right here @ “21st Century Bookmobiles”! Please feel free to e-mail me with ideas and input for this column at jmeadows@ppld.org.  Until then, Happy Bookmobiling!

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