KFL welcomes the Portland Bookmobile!

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It was a drizzly morning when the Portland Bookmobile pulled into the parking lot at the Kennebunk Free Library this past Thursday.  Since April 2013, this wonder-van has served as the focal point of Portland Public Library (PPL)’s portable library venture.  This month they are visiting nearby town libraries to show off their wares and sign up new patrons.

For Rusty, it was a chance to see a modern version of one of her childhood loves; for Casey it fell under ‘anything with wheels is heaven’.  The bookmobile stocks approximately 1,700 items of fiction and nonfiction, audiobooks, graphic novels, picture and chapter books and DVDs.  It is wheelchair accessible, has wireless Internet and solar panels.  This traveling collection fulfills part of the outreach mission of the PPL by serving areas of the city without a nearby branch; their routes take them to 20+ locations, including schools, neighborhoods, specialized care centers and events such as this.  They are able to reach patrons and families who may have health challenges, transportation issues or simply no time to make the trip downtown.

The 34-foot van cost approximately $166,000 and was paid for by a combination of library funds, private investment and a $50,000 donation from Key Bank.  The route schedule is posted online ( link accessible at http://www.portlandlibrary.com/locations/portable-library/l); each visit is 45 minutes.

Steve Weigle, driver and dog lover (“bring her right in, we love dogs!”) is today’s driver of this latest version of the PPL bookmobile.  I asked if more adults than kids used this service.  His reply? No, it was 75% kids, 25% adults – now that’s a job I might love.  He tells me his wife teaches an Archiving class at UMA/ILS, in fact I hope to take her class this winter – small world (personal communication, Oct 16, 2014).

I’ve added my new library tab to my key chain (done right there via their wifi computer connection in 3 minutes) and was reminded yet again that technology is an extraordinary enhancement to the world of libraries.

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REFERENCES:

Bookmobile brings books, Internet to Portland neighborhoods. (Apr 2, 2013). Received from http://www.pressherald.com/2013/04/02/new-portland-book-mobile-has-wireless-servive-solar-power/

Portable Library. (2014). Received from http://www.portlandlibrary.com/locations/portable-library/

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2 responses »

  1. OK, it’s Sunday morning and I have just read through your blog and now my eyes are watering from fond memories! How did we not meet, Rusty? I am sure we would have been kindred friends: dog lovers, library lovers….it really is a shame! Anyway, I enjoyed all of your postings and will look forward to more. Have you ever walked your dog through the UNE campus trails and down to the beach. One of our favorite hikes with our black golden, Cate. Have to tell you Janet Cate was the librarian who initially trained me at KFL. She and all of the other staff members were great to work with and were probably the impetus for me to begin this ILS certificate.

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    • Casey & I rather live at UNE (unless we run into certain campus police, who may wish we weren’t there that day, then we head to BPool golf course/St. Martin’s church). We used to park over by the river and run around there and over the trails to the old Marine Mammal lab, now we park on the other side of campus and walk through on lead, until she has done her thing and then when out of sight of humans, i let her go.
      You have a black golden? that sounds fabulous! and I agree, Janet Cate is wonderful; she is half the reason I chose KFL to research for the blog. I knew I could torture her to death and she wouldn’t hold it against me!
      Thanks for checking in, REALLY, it’s such a treat.

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