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PWC Library wants ideas on getting library services closer to residents

Prince William Public Libraries is researching new ways for residents to pick up materials and to use the libraries’ public computers, Wi-Fi, and other technology without coming into one of the libraries. Not everyone is able to go into the libraries, due to their locations, hours, or other reasons. In an effort to expand library services, the staff is looking at new ways to take libraries to residents.

Participate in a brief, eight-question survey that should take about three minutes to complete and will provide library staff with invaluable information in determining additional library services to offer. Visit http://bit.ly/pwplsurveyjan2021 to complete the survey.

Some possible expansion ideas include:

Stationary bookmobile: This “mobile” library would travel around Prince William County and the City of Manassas and would park in highly-visible locations, like a grocery store parking lot or outside a shopping center. Every week, the location(s) of the mobile library would be announced on PWPL’s website and social media. The “mobile” library may offer things such as physical books, CDs, and DVDs to check out; computers; and may act as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for residents to connect to from their own devices.

Self-Service Holds Pickup Locker: Similar to Amazon lockers that are popping up around Prince William County, these lockers would be available at such locations as grocery stores, banks, or convenience stores. Residents would reserve physical items like books, CDs, and DVDs through the libraries’ online catalog or by calling one of the libraries, then – instead of going to a library to pick up your hold – you would access one of these lockers with your library card to get your materials. Depending on the location, these lockers could have extended hours, convenient for commuters or when running errands.

Vending Machine: Just like a food vending machine, these vending machines would be stocked with new and popular books, CDs, and DVD titles. A previous hold isn’t required: You can check out an item when it’s available in the vending machine and return it to the same spot. Just like the lockers, these vending machines would be available beyond traditional library hours.

Are there other ways PWC libraries can be more available to you? Included in the survey is an “Additional Comments” section. If you have heard of other libraries around the country offering new and innovative ways to access materials and resources, let us know!

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