Bloomington Public Library's Bookmobile saw little activity when it was stationed at Miller Park a few years ago.
Library staff want to know how to better serve residents in that part of the city.
Staffers plan to go door-to-door Saturday morning offering library cards for residents and do some grassroots public relations.
The library's outreach associate, Michelle Cope, said staff was surprised to learn during a similar canvassing of the area last year many residents said they didn't know about all the library has to offer.
“It was kind of eye opening to us just how much the public doesn’t realize because we are more than books, so much more than books,” Cope said.
Library staff teamed with a Multicultural Leadership Project team last year to canvass the neighborhood. It was part of MCLP’s eight-month leadership development program to complete a community project for a nonprofit agency.
Library Marketing Manager Rhonda Massie said canvassers last year spent much of their time sharing information about the library’s lesser known services rather than gathering information about people’s views of the library.
“For instance, I take it for granted that people know that library cards are free,” Massie said. “When you come to the library and ask to sign up for a library card, no money changes hands. But I’ve been asked at least 15 times in the past year, ‘How much does a library card cost?’” said Massie.
Cope said, for now, it doesn't appear setting up a Bookmobile in that area would be useful, as only a few residents said they encountered obstacles in getting to the library, such as transportation.
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