Tina Trenkner is the Deputy Editor for GOVERNING.com. She edits the Technology and Health newsletters.E-mail: email@example.com
Libraries are evolving to offer a wider variety of services, including grocery ordering and pick up.
Libraries are becoming more than a place to check out a book or DVD. Increasingly, libraries are places where users can create multimedia projects, use the branch's Internet access to apply to jobs, or even access a social worker. Two Baltimore libraries now have another service to offer its patrons: grocery ordering and pickup. The city health department's Virtual Supermarket Project provides patrons living in "food deserts" -- areas without shops offering healthy food at a reasonable price -- an opportunity to order and pickup groceries at the library. Once a week, library visitors place their orders online with local grocer Santoni's Supermarket and pay in cash, check, credit or food stamps. Patrons can pick up their orders the next day without having to pay a delivery fee. The program is funded through a $60,000 grant made possible through the 2009 stimulus. Administrators hope to add a third VSP location with the help of the city's recreation and parks department. (Photo: Amanda Govaert/Flickr)