TACOMA, WASH— Tacoma Public Library (TPL) has expanded its geographical footprint and services with the installation of the Eastside Microlibrary at Metro Parks Tacoma’s Eastside Community Center, opens a new window, located at 1720 E. 56th Street. The Microlibrary is the first of its kind in Western Washington, and will act as an additional service point beyond TPL’s eight traditional branches.
On Saturday, Sept. 28 at 11 a.m., the library will hold a Launch Party with speeches, performance, and cake, and the public is invited to attend. Artist and graphic designer Dionne Bonner’s artwork for the Microlibrary will be revealed, and Tacoma Arts Live’s Ballet Folklórico de Tacoma troupe of dancers will perform.
The Eastside Microlibrary includes an interactive kiosk with a curated selection of library materials as well as a variety of programs and services managed by an outreach librarian dedicated to the project. Patrons can check out materials such as books, DVDs, graphic novels, and museum passes using their existing TPL library cards.
Through the services of an outreach librarian, Eastside community members can access engaging library programming for all ages in their own neighborhood.
“We are thrilled to partner with Metro Parks Tacoma to host the Microlibrary at the incredible Eastside Community Center. The Eastside Microlibrary is the first of its kind in Western Washington, and will provide myriad benefits to the Eastside community,” said Larsen.
In the coming months, the Microlibrary will pilot a mobile hotspot lending program, equipping patrons with access to free wireless internet. “Offering technological materials such as mobile hotspots, the Microlibrary provides momentum to Tacoma’s 2025 Strategic Plan, particularly in its focus on advancing digital equity,” said Library Director Kate Larsen.
In collaboration with the City of Tacoma’s Office of Arts and Cultural Vitality, TPL selected and commissioned local artist Dionne Bonner, opens a new window to design a vinyl wrap for the Eastside Microlibrary. Bonner is a visual artist and graphic designer who uses art as a catalyst to dialogue and reflection. A Tacoma Artist Initiative Project (TAIP) funded artist, Bonner participated in the Lincoln District Revitalization project, engaging the residents of the Lincoln Neighborhood in creating a street mural. In summer 2018, Bonner was selected for the Eastside Training Cohort, part of the Eastside Community Center’s Public Art program. She was then selected to create the Eastside Community Center Youth Memorial, currently in progress.
Attendees of the Launch Party can look forward to a performance by Tacoma Arts Live, opens a new window’s Ballet Folklórico de Tacoma troupe, comprised of students from First Creek Middle School and Lincoln High School. A project of Tacoma Arts Live and Tacoma Public Schools, the program offers students of all backgrounds the opportunity to immerse themselves in the regional dances of Mexico.
“This is an exciting and innovative project,” Larsen continued. “Not only does the Eastside Microlibrary advance our goal of extending library services to underserved neighborhoods of Tacoma, but it also demonstrates that libraries are responding to emerging trends and community needs. We hope our community will come and explore the many ways to enjoy their Microlibrary at its Launch Party on September 28.”
About Tacoma Public Library:
The Tacoma Public Library serves the Tacoma, Washington, community with eight branches, one Microlibrary at Eastside Community Center, and year-round services and programming. Tacoma Public Library provides access to ideas and perspectives from around the world, and through innovative library services, stimulates the development of literacy, knowledge, wisdom, critical thought, and valuable interaction that yields positive experiences and a thriving community.
Mariesa Bus, Public Information Officer | firstname.lastname@example.org | 253.292.2001 x1220