A few days ago, I called up the Huffington Post app on my iPhone and saw this headline staring at me:
My first thought was “duh, I can totally understand this.” Anyone who has use the USPS must know what I’m talking about. I myself find it to be quite a drag to have to make another pit stop when running errands just to stand in line for one or two stamps. In line, I always think “why can’t I get stamps elsewhere?” The article focused a lot on retirement and health benefits for employees, but also talked about cutting Saturday mail services and closing locations. The quote “postal officials want changes in the way they operate” struck me. What if libraries and post offices joined forces?
Libraries are already adept at holding things for patrons to pick up. If some kind of partnership was developed, the library could be used as a pick up spot for mail and packages. In return, perhaps some federal funds could be directed at libraries, helping them grow from book depositories to something more akin to a community center. And of course, we could easily sell stamps. I know I’d like that.
What do you think? I’m curious to hear your thoughts. I’m all about partnerships where two organizations come together to help out their communities, and I think that something like this could be wonderful if it was done right.
LOVE this idea! We have a huge post office across from my library and there are usually only two windows open (out of 10), a huge line, and the same customers that were just in the lirbary. I am all for combining forces. Justin, you should pitch this idea to USPS
Thanks Kirby. It seems to make a lot of sense to me. Two “dying” institutions helping each other out. I use “dying” liberally because we all know we’re not really dying and that we are still very relevant.
[…] expanding to something bigger, better, and more convenient for our communities. What about post offices in libraries? They’re not having the best time with their finances and are looking for new ways to […]
It looks like they are considering such an idea in the UK. http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/business/local-business/eyesore-gosport-post-office-may-move-into-library-1-3990601
They are considering this model in some areas in the UK http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/business/local-business/eyesore-gosport-post-office-may-move-into-library-1-3990601
It’s definitely already happening in the UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/case-studies/ashburton-library-co-location-with-a-post-office < and there are many other examples of co-location, including with a building society https://librariestaskforce.blog.gov.uk/2016/12/12/yarm-library-co-locates-with-newcastle-building-society/ , and convenience stores: https://www.lincolnshire.coop/community/helping-our-communities/libraries
Read more about the ideas to help public libraries to thrive in our strategy document: Libraries Deliver: Ambition (the first national strategy in the UK to be endorsed by both central and local government). https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/libraries-deliver-ambition-for-public-libraries-in-england-2016-to-2021
Thank you so much for all of this information. This is really great and fantastic work….and I think the future of what our communities look like.
[…] in 2011, I wrote a little blip of a thing about how neat it would be to see post offices in libraries. I never got around to trying the idea myself (but hey hey I’m still here in small town […]
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