If giant inflatable gorillas and window paintings can draw people into a car dealership, Susan Westgate is hopeful similar marketing to promote National Library Week at the Bartlett Public Library will draw in more patrons than usual.
The library, 800 South Bartlett Road, has been transformed to look like a car dealership in an effort to let people know that their local library is "The Best Deal in Town" because patrons can access thousands of materials there for free.
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"We just thought we'd do something a little different this year," said Westgate, the Bartlett Public Library District's assistant director. The decorations, which include lawn signs, banners and more, will be up until Friday.
Staff members -- the majority of whom are women, Westgate added -- are also getting in on the fun by donning suit coats and fake mustaches.
Besides being an unusual way to encourage people to visit Bartlett Library, Westgate hopes the car dealership idea will help expose patrons who haven't visited a library in years to the ever-growing variety of materials that many libraries now offer.
"A lot of times people think of libraries -- they just think of books," Westgate said.
Some of the library's offerings she hopes people will become aware of include video games, movies, music, computers, e-sources, downloads, story times, cooking demonstrations, career and job networking events, outdoor programs and more.
"I think once we get people to just get through the door ... they'll become regular users," she said, adding that with the bad economic times, local libraries are great places for anyone to go.