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posted: 4/11/2012 10:05 AM

Bartlett Library tells patrons it's "The Best Deal in Town"

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  • The Bartlett Public Library celebrates National Library Week, taking on the appearance of a car dealership to bring in patrons. Signs, window paintings, flags and even an inflatable gorilla on Bartlett Rd is being used to grab people's attention.

       The Bartlett Public Library celebrates National Library Week, taking on the appearance of a car dealership to bring in patrons. Signs, window paintings, flags and even an inflatable gorilla on Bartlett Rd is being used to grab people's attention.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • A giant inflatable gorilla greets drivers on Bartlett Road in front of the Bartlett Public Library. The library is celebrating National Library Week by taking on the appearance of a car dealership to bring in patrons. Signs, window paintings and flags adorn the exterior and prizes await inside.

       A giant inflatable gorilla greets drivers on Bartlett Road in front of the Bartlett Public Library. The library is celebrating National Library Week by taking on the appearance of a car dealership to bring in patrons. Signs, window paintings and flags adorn the exterior and prizes await inside.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • The Bartlett Public Library celebrates National Library Week this week, taking on the appearance of a car dealership to bring in patrons. Signs, window paintings, flags and even an inflatable gorilla on Bartlett Rd is being used to grab people's attention.

       The Bartlett Public Library celebrates National Library Week this week, taking on the appearance of a car dealership to bring in patrons. Signs, window paintings, flags and even an inflatable gorilla on Bartlett Rd is being used to grab people's attention.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Signs dot the front lawn along Bartlett Road of the Bartlett Public Library as they celebrate National Library Week this week.

       Signs dot the front lawn along Bartlett Road of the Bartlett Public Library as they celebrate National Library Week this week.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Assistant Circulation Manager, Jean Pereda, hands out prizes to children while wearing a mustache at the Bartlett Public Library's National Library Week celebration. The library is taking on the appearance of a car dealership to bring in patrons. Signs, window paintings, flags and even an inflatable gorilla on Bartlett Road are being used to grab people's attention.

       Assistant Circulation Manager, Jean Pereda, hands out prizes to children while wearing a mustache at the Bartlett Public Library's National Library Week celebration. The library is taking on the appearance of a car dealership to bring in patrons. Signs, window paintings, flags and even an inflatable gorilla on Bartlett Road are being used to grab people's attention.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • The Bartlett Public Library celebrates National Library Week this week, taking on the appearance of a car dealership to bring in patrons. Signs, window paintings, flags and even an inflatable gorilla on Bartlett Rd is being used to grab people's attention.

       The Bartlett Public Library celebrates National Library Week this week, taking on the appearance of a car dealership to bring in patrons. Signs, window paintings, flags and even an inflatable gorilla on Bartlett Rd is being used to grab people's attention.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
 

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.

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