Thanks to a nearly $100,000 federal grant, the Chapel Hill Public Library will build a pop-up library to debut by late spring of 2017.
The mini-library will be a vehicle about the size of a food truck, outfitted with electricity and power as well as a sink and fridge, said Meeghan Rosen, assistant director at the library and the director of the pop-up library project. Rather than being a vehicle library patrons can board, she said, the pop-up library will be packed with library materials to be unloaded off-site.
“We think by taking library services out into the community, we can expand awareness of the library as a valuable community resource for learners of all ages,” Rosen said.
Beginning in July when the federal funds become available, Rosen said, library staff will develop a plan for pop-up library programming, training staff and volunteers.
She said the pop-up library will help transport resources to areas of the community where kids don’t have as much access to educational stimulation or transportation to the library during the summer.
“We are a learning community here, we have an awesome school system, but we can always do more to help them combat the achievement gap,” Rosen said. “We think we can help move the needle on that.”
The library will use the resources of Orange Literacy, a local nonprofit focusing on helping adults with basic reading, writing and math skills, to train staff and volunteers and create programming for the pop-up library.
“We want parents to have good reading skills, so they can read to their children,” said Alice Denson, executive director of Orange Literacy.