Coquitlam Public Library is expanding the route and purpose of its book bus, changing the name to Library Link, hooking it up to Wifi and sending it to more neighborhoods when work on it is complete early this summer.
"It's going to be more of a multimedia type of facility," explained director Todd Gnissios, who with board chair Jack Trumley recently accepted a $20,000 cheque from developer Wesbild to purchase and outfit the vehicle.
The high-tech mini mobile library will allow people to check out books, DVDS and other materials, watch videos and connect to the internet and there will be loud speakers to broadcast music and information.
"It's pretty exciting," admitted Trumley, who said that the new Library Link is a step-up from the old book bus that burned in a fire last spring.
Since the fire, CPL has been renting a U-Haul to bring library services to Burke Mountain and the Cottonwood area, but the service will double to 4.5 days up from 2.5 and will go to more places, including special events and festivals.
One of the places the renovated vehicle will likely go is Riverview, where some mental health services are still provided, and the vehicle will be used to connect seniors, people with disabilities and Canadian newcomers who don't typically use library services or have difficulty accessing them.
As well, the mobile library will be a one-stop shop for Information such as how to get a job, and how to vote as the library seeks to expand its booking lending mandate.
"Many of these people are new to our city and don't get to library. How do we get out and market to them," Trumley said.
Gnissios said the vehicle, a Ford F450 adapted for library use, was picked up from a library in Washington Sate, and with renovation and upgrades, will cost between $60,000 and $65,000 to complete.
Other groups that helped out toward the cost was Coquitlam Rotary, which donated $15,000 and library patrons, including little kids, who emptied their piggy banks to get the book bus up and running again. Said Knissos: "It was really touching."
To keep up to date with library programs, including a new online learning data base called lynda.com, visit www.library.coquitlam.bc.ca.