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New bookmobile ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday at library

News release
The Boyle County Public Library will host a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday at noon to celebrate the unveiling of the new Lottie Ellis Bookmobile. The event will include comments by Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker, tours of the new bookmobile, and light refreshments.
Residents of Boyle County have had bookmobile service for over 45 years. Years ago it was decided that the Bookmobile was the best means of insuring that library services were provided to everyone in the county, regardless of where in the county they lived. In 1970, before the Boyle County Library District was formed, the Danville Library, Inc. applied to receive a bookmobile. Grace Gettinger was the first bookmobile librarian, serving from 1970-78. Linda Case and Margaret Caldwell also served as bookmobile librarians, and both were devoted to making the program stronger and bringing library services to everyone who needed them.
Miss Lottie Ellis was a long-time bookmobile patron. Miss Ellis’ will included a bequest to support bookmobile services. Her community trust fund – the Hudson-Ellis Trust – has awarded grants for the expansion and improvement of bookmobile services.
The bookmobile, like any vehicle, eventually started to show signs of serious wear. The last time the bookmobile was replaced was in 1996 with the help of a state grant. “Three bookmobile librarians – Deb Brown, Sue Hester, and Sherry Hoskins – really were mechanical experts when it came to the vehicle,” says Georgia de Araujo, Library Director. “They checked the oil daily, had knowledge about the generator (an important but troublesome component of the vehicle), and were skilled at driving that large, heavy bookmobile over Boyle County roads.” When the bookmobile had been in service for 19 years and had logged 89,000 miles, the writing on the wall became clear.
Knowing that the bookmobile was aging and would need to be replaced, the Library Board had been setting aside money toward a new vehicle. A Hudson-Ellis grant helped secure full funding and, in May 2016, the Library purchased a 2016 Ford Transit 350 as its new full-size vehicle. This upgraded bookmobile would allow for new programs and services to be offered to bookmobile users.
Photos contributed Outreach Librarian Brittany Smith stands on the new bookmobile through the Boyle County Public Library.
Photos contributed
Outreach Librarian Brittany Smith stands on the new bookmobile through the Boyle County Public Library.
The new bookmobile will carry books for all ages; AV materials including CD-Books and a small collection of DVDs; plus magazines and paperback books. It will be equipped as a Wi-Fi hotspot and will have laptops available for use both on the bookmobile and for the series of computer classes that will be offered as part of the bookmobile’s outreach services. On-the-go programing will also include story hours at day care centers and book discussion groups at senior centers and other facilities.
Outreach Librarian Brittany Smith will be the primary bookmobile driver. She has been learning much from Deb Brown and Sherry Hoskins who, along with Sue Hester, have devoted over 30 years to maintaining one of the more extensive bookmobile programs in the state. While Sue has recently retired, Deb and Sherry continue regular service to homebound library patrons throughout the county using the library’s smaller outreach van. The van purchase was made possible by a generous bequest from another long-time bookmobile patron, Geneva Shows.
Kentucky maintains the strongest bookmobile program in any state in the country,” says de Araujo. “There just isn’t enough praise for the devoted work of all these librarians.”
The bookmobile will be making appearances at local events and festivals in Boyle County, and will embark on a grand tour throughout the county. Boyle County residents who are interested in having the bookmobile visit their neighborhood are encouraged to call Brittany Smith at the Library for a request of service.