Rallying the Troops Presented by Susan Hill Library Director Paulding County Carnegie Library Paulding, Ohio Where have we been? In 1897 the State Library of Ohio began a series of 61 “traveling libraries” geared toward reaching Ohio’s farmers but soon requested by women’s groups, granges and public schools in districts where no public library existed. Traveling Library – SLO - 1897 So Actually… Ohio’s book delivery service PRECEEDED the Hagerstown, Maryland’s claim to fame as being the first “bookmobile” in the country in 1905. The first shipment of books was sent to Mt. Vernon in November 1896. Quotable from 1897 “When farmers get stirred up all over Ohio, the capacity of the state library will be severely tested. There will not be half enough books to go round…but that will arouse the legislature to the possibilities of the system and books will undoubtedly be furnished.” – C.B. Galbreath, state librarian Quotable from 1897 “…the library is considered an important educational auxiliary. It supplements the work of the schools by furnishing literature for pupils and for those whose school days are ended – who have graduated into the busy world to engage in the arduous struggle for food and shelter and raiment.” – C.B. Galbreath, state librarian Quotable from 1897 “…evening brings the opportunity to commune, through the opportunity of books, with the master minds of all ages.” – C.B. Galbreath, state librarian Quotable from 1897 “Good books are safe friends; the best never grow old. It is for the great state of Ohio to say whether or not they shall go on their beneficent mission to those who are waiting and calling for them.” – C.B. Galbreath, state librarian Hagerstown, Maryland book wagon Delivery Service Evolved Library service in Ohio mirrored the changes in transportation by incorporating mobile delivery service. Early bookmobiles were accessible from the outside only. A Great Example The Cleveland Public Library has documented their history and provides a great example of the evolution of bookmobile service Cleveland Public Library 1926 Cleveland Public Library Cleveland Public Library Cleveland Public Library Cleveland Public Library Cleveland Public Library 1955 Cleveland Public Library Cleveland Public Library Cleveland Public Library Cleveland Public Library Bookmobile - 2001 “The People’s University on Wheels” The Common Element The “elements” were (are) a common challenge for bookmobiles throughout the country… neither rain, snow, flood, mud? But they came… Perhaps not by boat, like these patrons in Louisiana, but they came none the less… and they were (are) loyal. Bookmobile patrons are among the most loyal patrons of any organization because they know we are making a special effort to serve “them”. Creative Bookmobiles Maybe it was just colorful photography, but bookmobiles began taking on a new feel… a new ambiance. Patrons entered the structure on wheels. The conversions were many: converted bread trucks, converted campers, etc. Gerstenslagers In the 1950s… didn’t everyone have one? Didn’t everyone want one? The modern trend The modern bookmobile had to be larger in order to carry more materials and fit more patrons on board. Modern bookmobiles had to be able to carry more weight and leap tall mountains or deep ditches with a single leap. Hello bus chassis! Early bookmobile: Lane Public Library Noble County Bookmobile Service 1960s Noble County Bookmobile Service 1960s And still they came… For over 110 years patrons have been coming to bookmobiles to get books, get information, meet friends, get rid of excess produce… Our patrons come from all walks of life, cross all cultures, blend together yet fit no mold. And they came… For over 110 years patrons have been coming to bookmobiles to get books, get information, meet friends, get rid of excess produce… Our patrons come from all walks of life, cross all cultures, blend together yet fit no mold. …and continue… With each change of season, each change of technology, we continue to be visionary thinkers… how can we provide more, faster, broader services? But do not… Ever settle for being “below the fold” news. Fight for the funding and the recognition this mobile service has always deserved. Do… Celebrate the service you provide. Celebrate your patrons! …do… Look at your library’s homepage. There should be a prominently placed photo of the bookmobile with a link to the schedule, services and contact person. Provide e-mail service for your patrons to request items… maybe a special interest blog for your patrons? …do… Send out special announcements announcing new stops, new equipment, new services. Many libraries use the “birth announcement” format stating specs and stats about the new program. Imagine… As “Doc” said in Back to the Future… “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads…” Keep dreaming of what your service will look like in one, five, ten, twenty years down the road… Advice for success… Adventure (as in “life is an…” and “sense of”) Determination Vision Imagination Courage (to reinvent service) Enthusiasm & Energy (the fight for funding) This image should not be the last one you have of your service… but it should be a constant reminder of the importance of change and vision. Thank you for your kind attention.
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