I first encountered LiLi at the 2013 American Libraries Association Midwinter Meeting in Seattle in a session titled, “Library Live and On Tour: Taking the Library to the Street.” I met Smitty Miller later that day in the Exhibit Hall where LiLi was on display, lights flashing, music blaring just like she would be out on the street. The experience was unlike any other I have had while engaging with a library and librarian. Smitty spoke about breaking down barriers and shared stories from the tour. She got a standing ovation. In the exhibit hall, LiLi drew attention and even a traditional shhh from some neighboring booths. At the time, I felt excited to embark on my new chosen profession.
Who is LiLi?
LiLi stands for Library Live and is an outfitted 2012 Nissan Cube. The person behind this creation, known as the Tour Manager is Smitty Miller, the Community Development Librarian at Fraser Valley Regional Library in British Columbia, Canada. The current Community Development Specialist is Janeen Parent.
What is LiLi?
She is more than a car. Think contemporary bookmobile that has gone beyond the delivery of books to the community, instead focussing on outreach services to marginalized and socially-excluded populations by meeting people where they are, interacting throughout the community, providing access to information and technology, adult literacy advocacy, and awareness.
1) To raise awareness about Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) and shatter stereotypes about libraries, library services and library customers; 2) To reach the underserved who do not know about the library or have some obstacles to visiting the library; and, 3) To strengthen existing and establish new community partners between FVRL and community agencies in the Fraser Valley.
Where is LiLi?
LiLi is on tour, shattering stereotypes about libraries and librarians, connecting with community members in unexpected places, including shelters, senior homes, transition houses, food banks, soup kitchens, corrections facilities, clubhouses for adults with special needs, First Nations Communities, etc. LiLi can also be seen participating in various fairs, festivals, and parades.
Funding: Original grant awarded in 2012 by the Libraries and Literacy Branch of the British Columbia provincial government.
Special Contributors: 360 Fabrication (customized design and equipment), Clarion Canada (audio equipment), Abbotsford Nissan (vehicle upgrades and accessories), First Book Canada (materials).
- CD/DVD and MP3 touch screen
- Xbox connect and games
- 2 laptop computers with 3G Internet connectivity
- 2 Kobo eReaders
- Sony eReader
- Blackberry Playbook
- Daisy MP3 book player
- Playaway books
For more information, visit LiLi: Library Live and On Tour™.