Westfield Washington Public Library increases patron access with outreach vehicle 

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Westfield Washington Public Library is expanding in more ways than one. Besides having a new, larger building under construction near Westfield Boulevard, the library recently added a motorized vehicle to reach more patrons.

A rendering of the outreach vehicle. (Image courtesy of Westfield Washington Public Library)

The outreach vehicle van is equipped to hold books, DVDs and other library materials. A librarian will travel in the vehicle to areas such as senior-living facilities to make materials available to patrons who may not be able to visit the library.

“It’s kind of a thought we have had for a really long time as we were doing our strategic plan and getting out to assisted-living places and having a presence at community events so we don’t have to cart a table around,” WWPL Executive Director Sheryl Sollars said. 

Sollars said the cost of the van and materials was $200,00 and was paid for with a $500,000 bond issued in 2020. 

“That was listed as one of the projects we wanted to fund,” Sollars said. 

The vehicle was delivered to the library April 14. Patrons can browse bookshelves, check materials in or out, apply for a library card and use an on-board computer. 

Sollars said the library purchased additional materials for the vehicle so it wouldn’t affect the library’s collection. The van can hold 1,700 books and up to 2,000 total materials, including DVDs. The vehicle has a retractable awning and is equipped with Wi-Fi. 

“It will also be able to hold six movable carts that can hold approximately 100 books, so total it could hold up to approximately 2,500 items, or maybe more,” Sollars said. 

WWPL plans to visit underserved neighborhoods, local parks and community events in the future in the vehicle. To request a mobile visit, call 317-896-9391.

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