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New bookmobile is here


The LaGrange County Library Board recently received a check from the Dekko Foundation that completed the fundraising for the new bookmobile to serve LaGrange County.

The new vehicle was delivered at the library Wednesday morning, with the bookmobile and library staff getting an introductory course on the ins and outs of the new vehicle. Library board members were also on hand to check out the bookmobile.

This will be the sixth bookmobile in operation during the bookmobile’s 60-year history serving LaGrange County.

The new bookmobile includes an ADA lift that will make it the library’s first bookmobile to be handicap accessible for all to use.

Inside, skylights provide plenty of natural lighting, which the staff noted would greatly reduce the amount of time they need to run the generator, reducing costs and helping the environment.

The bookmobile is without graphics for the moment, with the library discussing graphics with area companies.

The bookmobile is an important part of the library’s services to patrons around the county. It makes 81 stops within a three-week rotation, with more than 77,000 books checked out in 2011, which included over 50,000 children’s books.

This is a service that is appreciated greatly by the patrons and schools who use the bookmobile because they cannot travel to the main library or branches.

The library shared several letters from students at Sunny Ridge School, who wrote expressing why this service is important to their school. “I like the bookmobile because I love to read. I like any book. That is why I want a bookmobile,” wrote a bookworm, Darrin Jay Lehman.

Nora Wingard wrote, “I would like it if you would go on having a bookmobile. If there would not be a bookmobile we would have to go away from the school to get other books to read. We can have different books to read if there is a bookmobile.”

The library was able to raise $59,289.15 from gifts, fundraisers, memorials, businesses, Olive B. Cole Foundation, and schools towards the matching $80,000 grant from the Dekko Foundation. The total amount raised was $139,289.15.

In the last three years, the library board was able to put aside funds from the operating budget into the Library Improvement Reserve Fund to pay the remaining $45,347.67 for the bookmobile. OBS Specialty Vehicles, the company from which the bookmobile was purchased, reduced their price by $30,000, making the total cost $184,700 for the Concept Bookmobile, constructed on a Bluebird body and chassis, Model D3FE 2903, Model Year 2011 with a 2009 engine.