Ribbon cut for new bookmobile
The Summit County Library unveiled its new bookmobile on Wednesday, April 17 at the Weilenmann School of Discovery during National Bookmobile Day.
"We got the bookmobile back in January, but we waited a little while to do the grand opening. We thought National Bookmobile Day would be a good opportunity for it," Summit County Library Director Dan Compton said.
The previous bookmobile, purchased in 2009, had several mechanical issues, including problems with the suspension system that was custom designed to lower for individuals with disabilities to come on board the vehicle.
"We were really displeased with it, so we contacted the company that sold it to us, and we started negotiating with them in January 2011 to get the problem resolved," Compton said.
After two years of talking with the company, library officials were able to negotiate a trade for a new bookmobile, appraised at $150,000.
" the time we got a replacement, it was well out of warranty, so they didn’t have to do that. But they were very good about it. So we were really happy they agreed," said Lee Whiting, Outreach Services Librarian.
The replacement bookmobile bears the same design as the original bookmobile, created by Sarah Holden who won a Summit County Public Art Advisory Board contest. Holden was once a local artist, but has since moved out of the county, Compton said.
The bookmobile is essentially a fourth branch of the library, Whiting said.
"It’s a significant part of our library’s outreach services," he explained. "We visit local pubic schools, both public and private, preschool through eighth grade. We also visit senior centers, and do outreach to homebound individuals who can’t otherwise make it to the library."
The bookmobile is also used for summer outreach programs for the Holy Cross Ministries and the Park City School District summer program.
"And we do public stops at the more remote locations in the county, like Henefer, Woodland, Francis and Silver Creek," Lee said. "So we do a lot of different things in the community. It’s quite popular. The single largest group of users are school children. Every year we set up student bookmobile accounts that are tied to teachers. We have more than 1,500 accounts we set up and maintain through the course of the school year."
Currently, the bookmobile only carries books, but offerings may be expanded in the future, and other materials can be ordered to be delivered at any time, said Compton.
Because the bookmobile primarily services children during the school year, it carries mostly books for young readers most of the year. During the summer, the bookmobile carries more adult books.
A bookmobile schedule can be found at http://www.youseemore.com/summitcounty.
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