Monday, December 11, 2023

Williamsburg Regional Library launches new “Bookmobile” just in time for spring

Williamsburg Regional Library will bring their new Bookmobile to neighborhood this spring. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Williamsburg Regional Library)

HISTORIC TRIANGLE — This spring, a new library on wheels is bringing literacy and fun out to the community. 

Starting April 5, Williamsburg Regional Library (WRL)’s new Bookmobile is rolling into local neighborhoods.

According to a March 17 news release, the bookmobile is the latest vehicle in WRL’S fleet of Mobile Services vans. These mobile libraries bring book collections and programs out to all corners of the community. 

“Mobile outreach is a key component of our mission, which aims to make the library accessible to people in all parts of town and all walks of life,” said the library’s director, Betsy Fowler, in the release. “Our MLS vans bring a slice of the library to adult care communities, schools, day cares, and public spaces, with particular emphasis on visiting neighborhoods where residents may have difficulty finding the time or transportation to get to a library building.”

While the WRL’S traveling libraries have been around for decades, the new van comes with some resources and upgrades, including allowing for more natural light for patrons to use while browsing books.

One of the Bookmobile’s biggest upgrades is a retractable awning which expands the footprint of the van. This awning will offer not only shade to patrons, but also provide cover for additional activities such as displays and story time for the library’s younger patrons.

This new van also makes it so the library is more accessible for all community members.

“We have heard from a few early visitors, who were very excited about the new look and the exciting technology, and also complimented the accessibility for patrons who may have mobility issues,” said library spokesperson, Barry Trott, in an email on Monday, March 29.

The van also includes an interchangeable shelving unit that allows for the vehicle to be rearranged into a mobile tech center or a “Learning-to-Go” classroom. The van is equipped with Wi-Fi and stocked with some of the latest technology, such as a smart TV with Apple box, computers, iPads, Nintendo Switch, and printers.

Most of these features will rotate in and out, dependent upon what the van is setting out to do in the community. 

“The new Bookmobile will allow us to get more creative with what the library can offer outside of the confines of our buildings,” Mobile Library Services Manager Eletha Davis said. “We foresee hosting everything from children’s musical performances to printing labs to video game tournaments — programs that educate, entertain, bring people together, or meet a vital need in our community.”

To celebrate the Bookmobile’s debut, WRL is hosting open houses through early April  ahead of the vehicle’s launch.

The Bookmobile will begin its stops around area neighborhoods from April 5-9.

Visit the Williamsburg Regional Library’s website for a list of open house and Neighborhood Stops schedules. 


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