Nov 07, 2023

Wood County Public Library bookmobile nearing final chapter

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NORTHWOOD, Ohio — After years of COVID-19 restrictions and vehicle repairs, the bookmobile at the Wood County District Public Library is back on the road.

The bookmobile makes stops in neighborhoods, at schools and even some daycares. It's a service that's grown over the last couple of years, and so has the mileage on the vehicle.

It's been delivering books to the community for more than a decade, but lately, most of the reading has been of the warning lights on the dash.

Library leaders say it's time to retire the vehicle.

Anna Roberts and her sons visit the bookmobile every time it comes to their neighborhood.

"It's so convenient and so nice because we can walk down here in the summer and it's just right here," Roberts said. "The boys love checking out books. They get to pick their own every time and I give them like three options."

In fact, she grew up in the same neighborhood and would come to the bookmobile when she was little. It's a service that she and many others say is essential because their Northwood community doesn't have a library close by.

"We go all over from Northwood down to Hoytville. That's a big service area here in Wood County," Bookmobile and Outreach Supervisor Lauren Johnson said.

But the popularity's been wearing on the vehicle and library leadership is looking to give it new life before it checks out.

"Our current vehicle has been in service for 13 years now and that is pretty old for a vehicle. Especially for a larger vehicle," she said. "So we're just really excited to purchase a new one."

Johnson says the bookmobile travels at least 50 miles a day and sometimes further if there are multiple stops throughout the county. The bookmobile is on the road every day.

She says they are even considering two vehicles. Frequent bookmobile visitors say it would help.

"It would be so nice to have it come weekly instead of every couple of weeks," Roberts said. "It would be nice and they could service more areas than just us."

Johnson says there are more than a thousand items inside including books, audiobooks, DVDs and electronic devices that users can check out.

"They like the ability to just come here. My 8-year-old likes all the graphic novels it offers. My little one, my 3-year-old, likes picture books. They just like having the choices and there is a really good selection in the bookmobile," Roberts said

Johnson says the library's board is looking at replacements and funding right now.

She hopes they are able to find something soon.