- By Don Dwiggins
- Posted Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Bibliobus provides Library resources to Hispanic population
In earlier years a vist from the bookmobile was often as anticipated by children as a stop from an ice cream truck. Those days are back again but with an enitrely different target audience. Recently Esmirna Esparza, manager of our Hispanic Services department, sat down for a Q & A session about the Library's Bibliobus which means Bookmobile when translated into Spanish.
Q: Why did the library purchase a Bibliobus?
A:The Bibliobus was funded mostly through a $50,000 grant from the State Library with LSTA funds. It’s an effective means of providing library services to a difficult to reach population.
Q: What functions does the Bibliobus offer? That is, does it function mostly the same as a library?
A:Yes, it’s a library on wheels. It’s a full-service library. Our wireless internet connects us to the library systems database.
Q: Does it primarily serve the Hispanic population?
A: Yes, the bookmobile is the main service of the Hispanic Outreach department.
Q: How often does the Bibliobus go out each week?
A: We go out almost every day, weekdays and weekends. We have regularly scheduled trips to neighborhoods and agencies. In addition we are invited to school and community events. The bookmobile gives the public library a lot of flexibility and visibility. Imagine the public library present on different school grounds with school kids, or the public library present at the Children’s Museum Truck and Treat event, or at a street festival like Fiesta, or at the airport runway in the midst of an exciting Air Show.
Q: How many different stops does it make?
A: We average about 30 stops each month at neighborhoods and agencies. Double that number in the summer when we serve additional summer reading programs, summer feeding programs, and summer camps.
Q: Where are some of the stops?
A: Our regular stops are at small to large apartment complexes, mobile home communities, after-school centers at churches, parks and recreation centers, and at other youth-serving agencies.
Q: Can adults use the Bibliobus as well as children?
A: The materials we have are for all ages – books, magazines, CDs.
Q: What difference has the Bibliobus made in the lives of those it serves?
A: The Forsyth County Public Library is the first public library in North Carolina to have a dedicated outreach to its Spanish-speaking residents and the first public library in the state to have a Spanish bookmobile. Providing mobile library access to this segment of the population has not only provided access to books and other library materials (in spanish and english) to hispanic children but also made the libray a more acceptable institution in the hispanic community for adults as well.
Q: Who are the people who drive and man the Bibliobus and what are their primary jobs in doing so?
A: The Bibliobus is staffed by a librarian and a part-time library assistant. We drive the bookmobile, provide lending services and information services. We offer literacy programs like Story Time. We maintain the bookmobile’s collection.
Q: When the Bibliobus first went into service did you have a hard time attracting kids?
A: Our main users are actually children. Children love the bookmobile.