The library extends services to every segment of the population in its territory, and to every part of the county. In addition to the library’s physical locations, other library services are made available to those who find it difficult or impossible to reach these library buildings for reasons of distance, disability, illness, transportation, work schedule or other circumstances. The geographical area, number, and extent of patrons served by these services may be limited depending on available staff and library funding.
These alternative library outlets, provided via the library’s Outreach Department, include but are not limited to:
5.1 Homebound Delivery
Homebound cards are issued by the Outreach Department to patrons who qualify for the library’s homebound services, and are maintained by the Outreach Department staff. All materials checked out on homebound cards circulate for 90 days. Homebound patrons with limited mobility are also welcome to use their library card at any library location. The Outreach Department reserves the right to seek medical documentation for verification of homebound status.
5.2 Institutional Services
The Outreach Department provides library materials to fill book carts and bookshelves at assisted living facilities, housing complexes, and other congregate settings throughout Ross County.
5.3 Book Lockers
Hold pick-up lockers are utilized in locations lacking a full-service library branch. Patrons may place holds in the library catalog, then select a book locker location to pick up their items. Outreach staff maintains and stocks the book locker machines as needed.
5.4 Outreach Programs
The Outreach Department hosts engagement events for all ages at assisted living facilities, housing complexes, and other locations throughout Ross County.
5.5 Library Bookmobile
Mobile library services are essential to the public library and are seen as an integral part of it. When planning library services to meet community needs, mobile library service should be considered as a viable and cost-effective means to serve residents disadvantaged in terms of access to a static library. Careful planning will be given to the operating schedule so that maximum use is made of the vehicle and optimum value can be gained from the service. The number of places and duration of stops is dependent upon a number of factors. At all times during planning and operation, there is a need to be flexible and to change itineraries as circumstances alter.
Community partners may request the bookmobile’s presence for pop-up stops or special events, however, previously scheduled engagements take precedence, and several factors will be considered before the library determines if the request can be added to the itinerary.
The overall objective of a mobile library service is to promote equity of service provision by enhancing the opportunity of access to library services. A bookmobile provides the most flexible library service, not being restricted to any particular population center and able to respond to the needs of fluctuating populations.
The mobile library includes books, audiobooks, DVDs, CDs, magazines, and nontraditional items for all ages. Space is limited on the bookmobile, therefore materials from the library’s full collection are rotated on and off the vehicle at periodic intervals. Material selection is handled by qualified staff and follows the library’s Collection Development and Maintenance policy.
The Bookmobile follows all CRCPL Public Service Policies, and serves patrons within the library’s established service area.
5.5.2 Weather and Geographical Considerations
Climate may impact mobile library services, but the use of awnings or pop-up tents may allow for extending the range of possible activities. The bookmobile does not operate when weather and road conditions (including ice, snow, and flooding) are deemed too hazardous by library administration or the Outreach manager.
The bookmobile may not tolerate poor road conditions due to the weight of materials it carries, which places undue stress on the vehicle. Individual homebound deliveries to areas with poor or challenging road conditions should be carried out with a smaller, more capable library vehicle. Consideration must also be given to the length of the bookmobile, its turning circle, height of chassis above the ground, engine power and braking system in relation to surface conditions, steepness of hills, width of roads, and sharpness of corners. Street congestion and traffic flow must also be taken into account. Low bridges must be taken into account when route planning.
All stops must have a parking area with a visible spot large enough to accommodate the bookmobile and allow safe entrance and exit from the bookmobile by patrons.