New Outreach Possibilities Being Explored at Lamar Library


Sheri Eirhart, Outreach Coordinator with Library Van

The new Outreach Services Vehicle which replaced the Lamar Library Bookmobile has seen constant use beginning this past June since it was purchased with city and county funds.  Lamar Library Director, Debbie Reynolds and Sheri Eirhart, Library Outreach Coordinator, presented the Prowers County Commissioners with an update on activities.   

While there isn’t as much space in the van compared to the bookmobile, the change has resulted in considerable gas savings.  “We’ve put about 1,000 miles on the van recently and we’re hardly filling the gas tank compared to what the bookmobile needed for visits,” said Reynolds.  Most of the books taken to county communities are stored in portable cases, compared to the bookmobile’s shelves, so the selections are limited when you choose a book at random.  But visits to regular stops as well as home deliveries and story hours are basically unaffected by the difference in vehicle capacity.  Reynolds says the van makes monthly trips and a visit to Holly during the fair later this month is also planned. 

Folding Seats Offer Needed Storage Space for Books

Reynolds said she was investigating some different ways of getting books to shut ins around the community and is working with Prowers Medical Center and High Plains Community Health Center.  Because of patient medical confidentiality, she can’t be given names of people who were treated at these facilities who might want books brought to their home, but a way of maintaining privacy and accomplishing her goals is being developed through information flyers.  She says she’s attended several conferences to learn how other communities are increasing their outreach programs. 

One idea, more in line with urban areas, is to make visits to corporations where employees can visit the van during scheduled stops.  While we don’t have that population density, she said some other ideas may apply.  She’s also going to see if drop offs could be made to Bristol and Hartman post offices if there’s a demand.  Better gas mileage is making that possible.  Another outlet would be to local fire departments as a drop off site as well as taking books along with local meals on wheels deliveries.

By Russ Baldwin


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