Thursday, July 17, 2008

High Gas Prices Threaten WMRLS Bookmobile

Dear Bookmobile Colleagues,

The WMRLS Bookmobile program is threatened by the very high gasoline prices that we are all paying today. The bookmobile is a large truck that travels to about 75 libraries in our 4 counties. It is currently on the road 2 or 3 days a week and we need to reduce that schedule to 2 or fewer days a week if we stand a chance of continuing this important traditional service.

Bookmobile Department staff members are looking at our libraries to compare them in these ways:
  • which libraries evidence the most need of the service by showinga history of borrowing larger numbers of materials each visit
  • which libraries are served with multiple stops by WMRLS Deliverytrucks each week in addition to the bookmobile service
  • which libraries are in communities that have smaller populations(the Together We Thrive grant, for example, is aimed at libraries in towns of under 2500 population)
Geography is also being taken into consideration because it is possible that some libraries which are close to WMRLS headquarters might be able to send staff or volunteers to our headquarters to borrow directly from WMRLS. How much delivery service our bookmobile libraries receive is also important because those that get multiple deliveries weekly are in a stronger position to request deposits of materials by delivery van in lieu of a bookmobile visit.

Soon I will be having conversations with the Directors of libraries that seem to us to be best situated to give up bookmobile service at this budget-challenging time. But we would love to hear from you if you think that you can manage without bookmobile!

I invite you to think about the criteria I mentioned above as well as the relative strengths of your own collections; if you think that you can replace bookmobile service with deposits that we would deliver by van, or if you could send staff or volunteers to WMRLS headquarters by appointment to select directly, I'd love to talk to you about these possibilities.

All that is certain right now is that changes are needed. I thank you very much for giving this your consideration.

Sincerely, Mary King, Regional Librarian, WMRLS

No comments:

Post a Comment