Windsor Public Library Wins Innovation Technology Award
Tuesday May 8th, 2012
Posted at 4:15pm
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The Canadian Library Association (CLA) announced that the 2012 recipient of the CLA/OCLC Award for Innovation Technology is Windsor Public Library for their project titled Tomorrow Today. The award is given in recognition of the ground breaking and innovative use of technology to provide exceptional library service to the community.
The award recognizes the development of a ‘mobile branch’ that packs and unpacks easily and is capable of being setup in almost any location at any time. This model is similar to kiosks found inside shopping malls. Library staff accompanying the technology doesn’t just tell people about the library, they serve them. As the initiative was developed, staff from all areas was involved and the award is representative of a collective effort.
In making the announcement, CLA said that the “Windsor Public Library has changed the way that libraries offer services and how they are perceived and valued by their community. This innovative project has shown libraries that there are limitless ways to reach current and future patrons. One of the most innovative aspects of the project was how WPL uses portable devices to create a mobile library branch which enables staff to create library cards, check out books, offer instruction and reference services, and more!”
The Windsor Public Library says that in order for them to stay relevant in the community, they need to continue to expand into new markets and reach new customers to increase circulation and impact. These may be busy parents who both work, single parents, seniors who no longer drive, adults with physical or mental challenges, newcomers or our neighbours living in situational or generational poverty. The mobile branch, which is the focus of this award, is also being used to deliver personalized service to customers at library branches on the floor.
A mobile solution allows Windsor Public Library to service areas experiencing rapid growth with no physical “public centres”, demonstrate library services to segments of the population that we are currently unable to reach, experiment with a possible new location for a branch, allow staff to be freed from the constraints of the service desk model and be more visible and available to customers anywhere in the library and have a presence at local community events.