by Amber Kent, Library Manager, Case Grande Public Library
The City of Casa Grande Public Library is extremely excited to announce the launch of our new bookmobile.
Featuring a beautiful new wrap and with the slogan, “The Library has Left the Building,” the bookmobile did just that. Considered a mobile branch of the Casa Grande Public Library system, it will provide many of the same services as the two library branches in Casa Grande.
It is effectively an extension of the Casa Grande Public Library, providing library materials and timely personal services to communities, neighborhoods and individuals.
The City of Casa Grande Public Library has run a small bookmobile service for the past 15 years. When the service first started Feb. 8, 2007, it focused on literacy training for adults. In addition to bookshelves, the redesigned 15-passenger van had wireless internet and laptop computers with software to teach language and literacy skills.
As internet access became more common, the bookmobile shifted to bring reading material to retirement communities to assist patrons who have difficulty physically coming into the library. For those with limited mobility, the bookmobile brought a steady stream of books and movies, along with a friendly face.
However, the van was not handicap accessible, and residents were unable to browse its shelves, instead relying on library staff to select materials for them.
Since becoming the Library Manager in 2012, Amber Kent has been looking for opportunities to acquire a larger bookmobile that could handle a more traditional library service model. This spring she found a used bookmobile for a very reasonable price at the Fossil Ridge Public Library in Braidwood, Illinois.
Through the generosity of The Friends of the Casa Grande Library and local businesses, the City of Casa Grande purchased the 32-feet long bus, which has beautiful wooden bookshelves, an area to sit at a laptop to browse the catalog and learn about digital services, handicapped access, and more.
Business sponsors include Capital R Construction, Coldwell Banker ROX Realty, Jones Casa Grande, Absolute Construction, Ellison Mills, Casa Grande Eye Care, Mitchell & Crosby Dental, Walton Orthodontics and the Studio of Dance.
Egan Eyes Photography provided a stunning landscape photo from the area for the wrap. The wrap’s design was provided by Radius Sign & Banner.
Route plans are still in the planning stages for the new bookmobile. Service priorities include outlying communities with limited access to an established library, senior/care/youth facilities, and community events.
Our goal is to provide information to people of all ages and abilities for their recreation, education and life-long learning needs. We also want to increase the visibility of the library and Friends of the Library by generating a positive image throughout the entire community.
When you see the new bookmobile drive by, give us a wave, we can’t wait to meet more of Casa Grande!