Blog #5: Learning Everywhere

After going through the module on Infinite Learning: Learning Everywhere, I was reminded of the eight plus years that I spent driving one of the Bookmobile for the Oceanside Public Library.  The city of Oceanside has a population of roughly 176,000 people and the two libraries that serve this ever-growing population are not sufficient.  The library is fortunate two have two Bookmobiles in operation that serve various underserved communities throughout the city by bringing library services to them.  Bookmobiles are a perfect example of what libraries can utilize to bring services to the communities and provide them with the necessary resources to fulfill their informational needs.  The Bookmobiles have a small collection of both Spanish and English materials including books, magazines, audiobooks, DVDs, and CDs. In addition, there are computers with printing capabilities for the public, WiFi provided through a hotspot on board, and iPads loaded with early literacy applications for the children.  Back in early 2000, when I had the pleasure of bringing the Bookmobile out to the different communities, we would collaborate with different city-run community centers to provide programming to children and adults such as storytimes and book clubs. With the unfortunate closure of most of the centers, the library has stepped up its efforts and continued programming for the varying Bookmobile stops. 

The Oceanside Public Library, with the help of funding from the Oceanside Public Library Foundation and the Friends of the Oceanside Public LIbrary, have acquired a mobile outreach quit which enables our youth services department to take makerspace programming on the road.  The Bookmobiles have been able to provide programming to its users such as 3D printing, VR demonstrations, video game programming, and other emerging technologies that they otherwise would not have the ability to experience.  The programs have been well attended and the requests for our Bookmobiles to attend various special events throughout the city has increased in recent years. Having the Bookmobiles has allowed us to take our programming on the road with the hopes of providing equal access to as many citizens in Oceanside as possible and removing any barriers that may exist.  My years spent driving the Bookmobile have been by far some of the best years due to the connections I built with the communities, and knowing that our presence in those underserved communities is making a difference.

A look at one of the Oceanside Public Library’s Bookmobile.