November 16, 2017

Cecilia LaFrance | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Change Agents

Cecilia LaFrance

CURRENT POSITION

Public Services Coordinator, Jefferson County Public Library, Lakewood, CO

DEGREE

MA, School Media Library Studies, University
of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, 2010

FOLLOW

linkedin.com/in/cecilia-lafrance-61138260

Photo by Robert Bauer

The Library, Delivered

A former high school teacher and teacher librarian, Cecilia LaFrance is now a voice for people who cannot get to a library. Since she joined Jefferson County Public Library (JCPL), CO, in 2014 as public services coordinator for the Library 2 You program, which includes a bookmobile and home delivery services to 38 senior facilities and three correctional institutions, she has helped to empower senior and incarcerated patrons by bringing library services to them. “Moving to the public library was a…welcome change because it brought me back to people who [are] motivated by their own interests,” she says.

LaFrance takes pride in her contributions but credits her Library 2 You team and “a support system that included the collections department, as well as IT,” she says. The IT department turned the bookmobile into a 21st-century service that now provides tablets and training for seniors, as well as numerous books and other resources.

The bookmobile team also brings interlibrary loan materials from academic libraries to the incarcerated, since the prison library resources don’t meet their needs. With “robust readers’ and media advisory,” says colleague Padma Polepeddi (a 2008 Mover & Shaker), LaFrance and her coworkers check out “about 300 items to about 45 patrons at this hour-and-a-half stop.” And they’ve trained prison staff to provide classes and workforce instruction to inmates.

Last year, LaFrance and her team expanded the JCPL summer reading program to include bookmobile patrons, who logged in 1.5 million minutes between June and August. That was ten percent of the total reading minutes for the county and matched or exceeded some totals for JCPL’s ten other libraries, she says. “We had burly guys turning in their minute cards, and people with walkers turning in their lists with minutes and hours. They love it!”

To counter isolationism among homebound patrons, LaFrance encouraged one of her team members to launch the dial-a-book club. She works to get the word out about it and other Library 2 You programs by collaborating with a variety of community organizations.

Overall, Library 2 You’s circulation increased 40 percent in 2015. “I’m so lucky to have the staff in place who care about serving our population,” says LaFrance. “Seeing other people’s excitement and love of books and literature—it’s motivating for me.”

This article was published in Library Journal's March 15, 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Share

Comments

  1. .Charlotte Lueken says:

    Congratulations Cecilia ! I am not at all surprised that you have done such fabulous things for the library .Iowa’s Loss was definitely Colorado’s gain. I’m so very proud of your accomplishments! Charlotte Lueken Urbandale Iowa