Article | October 6, 2020

For Book Deliveries, Local Library Turns To GIS

Source: Esri
The Burnaby Public Library used its bookmobile to deliver books to residents from 1956 to 1971. (Photo courtesy of Burnaby Now.)
The Burnaby Public Library used its bookmobile to deliver books to residents from 1956 to 1971. (Photo courtesy of Burnaby Now for Esri.)

The value of being able to read is immense. Literacy affects how far people make it in school, which jobs they get, how much money they make, whether or not they tend to vote, how well their children can read, and much more. And that’s not to mention its role in improving comprehension, developing the imagination, and learning new things.

These are just some of the reasons the City of Burnaby—the local government for the third-largest city in British Columbia, Canada—has a decades-old program that delivers library services to Burnaby residents who are unable to visit the library themselves. The Home Library and Accessible Service (HLAS) Department, a branch of the Burnaby Public Library, delivers library materials to patrons who are challenged by health, mobility, or transportation issues or other obstacles that make visiting the library infeasible.

Hundreds of patrons use the service. Challenged to deliver so many books, the HLAS team partnered with the City of Burnaby’s GIS division to improve the route planning and delivery processes. Using ArcGIS Navigator, the GIS division was able to help the HLAS team automate daily route planning. Ultimately, this has enabled HLAS staff members to better serve their patrons.

“ArcGIS Navigator is helping the Home Library and Accessible Service team meet [its] goals of providing an efficient delivery service to the community,” said Simone Behrens, a mapping technician 2 for the City of Burnaby.

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