After many months of planning and building, the McDowell County Library Bookmobile has arrived in an effort to serve more people in McDowell County.
A ribbon cutting was held recently to commemorate the arrival of the vehicle with county commissioners, the county manager, library director Marlan Brinkley and library staff.
“The bookmobile is a community experience, it connects people, and opens worlds through literacy and access to information. This could not have been possible without the support of our county commissioners and grant funding from the State Library. Thanks to their support the public library will be able to bring a variety of resources, services and programs to all corners of the community,” said Brinkley.
The bookmobile is a direct result of the library working to accomplish three goals: support access to county and community services; provide library services to people from all walks of life; and expand awareness of what the public library has to offer.
The bookmobile will of course feature books, but will also have audiobooks, DVDs, magazines and CDs. The bookmobile will also provide wifi when possible. It will have four laptops available for patrons to use as well as a printer and copier. You must have a library card to take advantage of checking out items from the Bookmobile.
Currently, the library staff are working to create a schedule of stops in the area by partnering with the Foothills Food Hub. The library will select three days out of the week to set up stops at the same time they are distributing food. Once C OVIDlevels start to decrease, more stops will be planned. Future stops include schools, Head Start, community forums, as well as local festivals, parades and community celebrations.
Until COVID levels go down, patrons are not allowed on the bookmobile at this time. When the level becomes more manageable, patrons will have access to a wheelchair lift so the bookmobile will be accessible to everyone. In the meantime, staff will have materials on carts and will be able to bring them outside so the public can browse them safely.
The bookmobile was made possible by a $100,000 LIbrary Servces and Technology Act grant from the North Carolina State Library in 2019. McDowell County provided the remaining amount, which is estimated to be about $64,000. The vehicle was purchased from Matthews Special Vehicles in Greensboro.
For more information, visit mcdowellpubliclibrary.org or call the Marion Branch at 652-3358 or Old Fort Branch at 668-7111.