Libraries Go Cool

A souped-up 2012 Nissan Cube is the cornerstone for the Library Live & On Tour initiative in British Columbia.

Big Picture

Libraries often get tainted with a connotation of antiquated, dusty books sitting atop uninviting bookshelves, especially with the increasing takeover by tablet computers and eReaders. To debunk such misconceptions, the Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL), the largest public library system in British Columbia, Canada, launched a trailblazing mobile-library service initiative known as Library Live and On Tour. Unlike “bookmobiles,” the Library Live & On Tour is designed to stress service, access to information, and library awareness – particularly for people in communities who don’t know about the region’s libraries or have some obstacle to visiting them.

The vehicle chosen for the campaign – a souped-up 2012 Nissan Cube – features such enhancements as undercarriage lighting, a permanently mounted 40-inch plasma digital display screen, an external music and public address system, a built-in bookshelf, and, yes, a “gadget bar complete with tablet computers, eReaders, audiobook technology, and laptops.

“Custom car shop 360 Fabrication, Inc. provided the creative concept and installation of the on-board technology,” says Smitty Miller, tour manager of Library Live, “while Clarion donated much of the audio equipment; and Abbotsford Nissan donated the mag wheels.”

To further improve the Library Live ride, National Graphic Solutions Inc. (NGSI, in Delta, British Columbia, signed on to output a vehicle wrap. “They were looking for a company that could work with their designer – who had never designed a full vehicle wrap – to come up with creative that could be installed on a vehicle, giving a dynamic and unique look for their tour promotions,” says Bruce Volckmann of NGSI.

With support from NGSI, the library designed the graphics using Adobe Illustrator. NGSI’s prepress department then modified and adapted the design, and provided the client with a digital layout of the vehicle wrap for approval.

The wrap was output via NGSI’s HP Scitex LX800 latex printer, onto 3M Controltac 180 vinyl, adding a clear 3M Scotchcal 8519 overlaminate. The graphics took one hour to print. “Printing a wrap that required matching the vehicle’s original paint and blending with sections that were not covered with vinyl was a challenge,” says Volckmann. “The color had to be spot on.”

Three NGSI installers wrapped the Cube at the shop, covering more than ¾ of the vehicle in graphics. During the campaign, the Library Live tour traveled to food banks, shelters, senior homes, and other community hubs like festivals, fairs, and parades to connect with individuals who might not otherwise step foot into a library building.


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