Port library to hit the road with outreach van

Vehicle purchased with grant money will be used to deliver materials
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

The Niederkorn Library is about to hit the streets.

On Tuesday, the Common Council approved buying a used van to serve as an outreach vehicle that will allow the library staff and volunteers to deliver materials and services to patrons who can’t physically access the building.

“It helps us bring the library to the people,” Library Director Tom Carson said. “We want to be in the parks, at senior homes, at schools, at the farmers market.”

The van offers the library staff the ability to deliver materials, programs, supplies, equipment, and services to the community in an independent capacity.

With the van, Carson said, the library can provide a wide range of offsite programs and use its equipment as a hot spot locale for events and in times of community emergencies.

It could be used to provide services at such places as the senior centers,  day care centers, parks, parking lots and at community events.

But, he said, the van shouldn’t be considered a bookmobile.

“It’s outreach, not a bookmobile,” Carson said.

The van will cost $35,000, of which $27,440 will be covered by a grant from the Department of Instruction’s Division of Library and Technology.

The remaining $7,560 will come from donations, Carson said, including a $2,500 gift from the Port Washington-Saukville Rotary Club.

“I’m still kind of in shock we got it,” he said of the grant, which was funded through federal American Rescue Plan Act money. “Very few libraries received this.”

Carson said he will pick up the van Friday and hopes to have it on the road in June.

Before it hits the road, he said, fun graphics and a special feature will be added to the van — perhaps incorporating fish atop the vehicle.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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