New BookMobile Rolls out in Madison County

There’s a new BookMobile in town, and it’s coming soon to a school, community center, nursing home, outdoor festival or parade near you. It’s a rolling branch of your Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL), and it offers bestsellers, fiction, nonfiction, DVDs, music CDs, children’s materials, large-print books and more – a wide sample of the items you can find at any of the 12 branch library buildings.

BookMobile Field Day library

BookMobile Back from 2012 Hiatus

This library on wheels is a new 2015 Ford Transit, funded in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS). But the van didn’t become a BookMobile overnight.

First, it had to be customized to serve the needs of our library users with traveling shelves, a ramp for easy loading and unloading, a retractable awning for shade, and mobile Wi-Fi. Then, it was decorated with a colorful landscape – wrapping courtesy of ShaBob Signs, Inc. of New Market – so everyone who sees it will know there’s lots of reading fun on board.


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BookMobile LS library

“We’ve been without a BookMobile since 2012, when the old vehicle serving as the BookMobile broke down permanently,” said Outreach Manager Mandy Pinyan. “To have this new and improved BookMobile is wonderful because we can now serve as an oasis in the “library deserts” of Madison County. Thinking about all of the kids, seniors, and other communities that will finally have a library presence and free resources is exciting.”

The BookMobile had its official unveiling at the Summer Reading Field Day for Kids on Saturday, July 23, at Big Spring International Park. All 12 branches of HMCPL celebrated our young readers’ Summer Reading accomplishments with a party featuring games, prizes, food and more. The BookMobile was on hand and operating at full capacity, as patrons browsed for books and movies in the shade of the awning. We even had library card signups for new patrons discovering the joys of the library — outside of the traditional library setting.


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BookMobile_MP_GS library

It’s All About Access

“Seeing faces light up because they have access to something as simple and as essential as books is at the core of why we use a BookMobile. We’re bringing the library you,” said HMCPL Executive Director Laurel Best.


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The library is asking local businesses to help fuel the BookMobile with plenty of books and other materials. In exchange for a company’s sponsorship of literacy in our community, that company’s logo will be displayed on the back of the BookMobile.

“The BookMobile is a crucial tool for the library and the communities it serves,” said Huntsville Library Foundation Chairperson Christina Tabereaux. “This vehicle will be seen all over Madison County, and with the vibrant artwork on the van, you really can’t miss it.”

#LibraryOnWheels

Whenever you see the BookMobile in action, let your friends know on social media, and share your photos on Instagram and Twitter by using the hashtag #LibraryOnWheels. If you’d like to bring the BookMobile to your Madison County community group, please contact HMCPL’s Outreach Department at 256-532-5961 or outreach@hmcpl.org. To go that extra mile and become a BookMobile company sponsor, please contact foundation@hmcpl.org.

Laura McPhail thumbABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laura McPhail is a PR and marketing pro, amateur writer and photographer, and travel and concert junkie who loves the arts, culture and music. She also claims the title of “Mother of Cats” and counts herself among the PANKs (Professional Aunt, No Kids) of the world as her three stair-step nephews are the light of her life. Originally from Madison, Laura has recently returned to the Huntsville area after a 20-year walkabout (eight years of which were courtesy of the Air Force). Laura currently works as the Director of Public Relations for the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library.