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Bookmobile, library kiosks floated in plan

Richmond Public Library could soon boast a “bookmobile” that would deliver materials to daycares, schools and care homes.

The idea is one of several proposed pilot projects in the library’s new strategic and long range plan for the next four years. Presented to Richmond council Tuesday, the plan suggests a $270,000 investment in the library for new projects, along with a annual funding increase of $200,000 for digital media—an amount currently borrowed from the print collection budget.

The plan, developed with consultants at IBI Group at a cost of $110,000, involved extensive public consultation that resulted in 23,782 contributions, according to a staff report from Kim Somerville, manager of arts services.

“Feedback provided showed that 80 per cent of library users want improvements to their library experience, with two of their biggest concerns being noise and overcrowding,” noted Somerville.

Digital learning, collaborative workspaces and marketing improvements are focuses on the plan, which comes at a time when libraries across North America are continuing their shift to digital screens and becoming greater community gathering places.

Beyond the bookmobile, other suggested projects include co-locating health and fitness resources at Richmond Olympic Oval and community centres, and placing automatic standalone kiosks throughout Richmond to allow borrowing of books and other media outside the library environment.

Discussion of expanding library facilities—such as Steveston’s library branch—isn’t included in the plan.

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