Literacy on wheels: Fraser Valley Regional Library unveils Library Live and on Tour

Smitty Miller, the Fraser Valley Regional Library community development librarian, in the Library Live car LiLi. - Neil Corbett photo
Smitty Miller, the Fraser Valley Regional Library community development librarian, in the Library Live car LiLi.
— image credit: Neil Corbett photo

With music booming out of their modern re-think of the traditional “bookmobile,” and a snack bar featuring a cake shaped like a 2012 Nissan Cube, the Fraser Valley Regional Library unveiled its latest program, Library Live and on Tour, in Abbotsford on Wednesday morning.

Smitty Miller, the FVRL community development librarian, described how she will drive the vehicle that inspired the cake around the library region – an area that stretches from North Delta to Boston Bar – promoting adult literacy. With the mobile library she plans to connect with community members in seniors homes, transition houses, soup kitchens and other non-traditional places.

“I want to reach people who don’t think of, or normally go to, the library,” she said.

The Cube, dubbed LiLi, has an eye-catching paint job, enhanced audio donated by Clarion, two laptop computers with internet connectivity, XBox Kinect games and an assortment of other gadgets. Abbotsford’s 360 Fabrication donated $20,000 worth of design and equipment, from a 36-inch LCD screen installation to a car horn.

Miller said they will give away books, use the computer system to sign up new library users, promote computer skills and literacy skills, and even clear up library fines.

In the work she has done in her role, she has found that fines stop borrowers for years.

“That’s a big obstacle to the library, and I can take care of fines,” she said.

She and LiLi are out to dismantle stereotypes about libraries, librarians and library users.

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