Serving Boyle County through library outreach

Published 10:16 am Monday, October 21, 2019



The mission of the Boyle County Public Library is to engage the community by promoting lifelong literacy and learning, to connect people to information and technologies, and to contribute to local cultural life. One of the ways the library accomplishes this mission is through outreach. The Outreach Department provides services to members of the community who otherwise would not get the opportunity to visit the library on their own to take advantage of library services, including those limited by transportation and at risk populations. 

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Outreach staff use the Bookmobile and outreach van to travel around the county, bringing materials and activities to these patrons. The department also expands the library’s reach by supporting and attending community events, like the farmers market, festivals and back-to-school events, and by making regular visits to daycares, rehabilitations centers and other facilities.

The library recently hired Jana Oliver to serve as the new Outreach Services Librarian and department manager, where she joins Outreach Associates Deb Brown and Dana Benton in the Outreach Department. Oliver grew up in Garrard County, where she and her husband, Bill, raised their two daughters. She earned her bachelor’s degree and Rank 1 in Elementary Education and a Master’s of Library Science. She taught in public school for 28 years and was an elementary librarian for four of those years. She also taught an additional three years at Danville Christian Academy. Oliver loves to travel and  read historical fiction. She especially enjoys helping others. 

Oliver is excited to be the new Outreach Librarian because it provides an opportunity to bring the library to people of all ages. The department takes reading materials to homebound senior adults who live on their own, as well as to those living in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. 

“We go into adult day care facilities and spend time doing crafts, singing songs, reading and visiting with our patrons,” says Oliver.  “We also go to local early learning centers and daycares to do story times and to drop off books for the teachers and children. These types of activities bring a lot of joy to the people that we serve, and I am very happy to have a part in that. As a child growing up in a rural community, I always looked forward to the bookmobile coming to my house.” 

She says that it is very rewarding to now provide that service to children and adults who look forward to stepping onto the bookmobile to find a great book or DVD to enjoy from the collection.  “It is also nice to be able to personalize selections for our patrons based on their interests and requests,” says Oliver.

The library has been offering outreach services for many years. As manager of the Outreach Department, Oliver is responsible for overseeing its functions, like the Bookmobile and homebound services, and for serving the informational, reference, and reading needs of library patrons of all ages, wherever the need exists. Oliver’s vision of her role includes increasing public awareness and usage of outreach services. 

“I was not aware of all that was already being done to reach the senior adult population in our community,” says Oliver.  “Dana and Deb provide wonderful personal service to the patrons they serve. Dana visits many of the assisted living facilities and nursing homes, while Deb brings books to homebound patrons. They know the genres and authors their patrons enjoy reading, and are able to keep their patrons updated on new books, audio books, and magazines that are coming out.” 

Oliver visits several childcare centers where she delivers books and offers storytime, complete with crafts and activities that tie in with whatever theme they are doing. 

“I would love to see more people take advantage of the services we offer,” say Oliver. The outreach staff already has some book clubs, but Oliver would love to establish more clubs in additional facilities wherever they are needed. 

Olive loves going into the community with the Bookmobile.  “We take a very good selection of books and DVDs right into many neighborhoods, and we would love to see more patrons step on to check out materials. We always carry a case of free books for the children so that no child goes away empty-handed if they do not have a library card.”  Outreach staff will continue to take part in community activities, handing out the library’s monthly events calendars, signing up people for library cards, passing out information about the services that the library provides and giving away many free books.

When asked about her plans to improve or strengthen the library’s role in the community and to the patrons served, Oliver had this to say: “First and foremost, we will always strive to provide our patrons with excellent service. We want the patrons we serve to feel valued and we want them to be informed about the services that we provide. We would like to increase interest and usage of our Bookmobile, and would encourage everyone to come out and utilize our services when they see us in their area. We are continually looking for ways to identify the needs of our rural communities, and would like to increase their usage of our library through outreach services.” 

The next community event where people can find the Bookmobile is at the Kiwanis Chili Cook Off at Wilderness Trail Distillery, which happens today (Saturday, Oct. 19). Outreach staff will also be bringing the Bookmobile to Danville’s Trick-or-Treat on Main on Oct. 31.  Everyone is invited to stop by and check out the Bookmobile while it is out on location.

Additional information about outreach services and the complete Bookmobile schedule can be found on the library’s website, Anyone interested in arranging a visit from the outreach department may do so by calling the Library at 859-238-7323 and asking for outreach services.