New mobile libraries are on the road and coming to rural communities in Skamania and Klickitat Counties. Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries is proud to introduce two new bookmobiles to replace the aging bookmobiles that combined serve over 35 stops throughout the region.
After two years of planning, consulting, design and building, the new bookmobiles started rolling out to communities in late October. Among the new features is a much-requested wheelchair lift, which will not only provide additional access for patrons, it allows library staff to easily take book carts into remote locations as well.
“The enthusiastic response to the new bookmobile has been fantastic. It reaffirms the importance of supporting access to information whether you get it in a building, through your smartphone, or on four wheels,” said David Wyatt, branch manager for Stevenson Community Library, which provides service for the bookmobile covering Skamania County and West Klickitat.
In addition to seeing the new bookmobiles at their regularly scheduled stops, people can “check it out” at library and community events this December:
Dec. 1, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Christmas in the Gorge Handmade Arts & Crafts Bazaar, Skamania County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 681 Fairgrounds, Stevenson.
Dec. 1, 1 to 3 p.m.: White Salmon Community Library Wassail Celebration, 77 NE Wauna Avenue, White Salmon.
Dec. 2, noon to 3 p.m.: Bickleton Grange Holiday Bazaar, 304 E Market St, Bickleton.
Dec. 8, 1 to 3 p.m.: Goldendale Community Library, 131 West Burgen Street, Goldendale. After this event, the new bookmobile will participate in the Candy Cane Lane Parade, with County Commissioner Jim Sizemore riding along the parade route.
Each of the bookmobile celebrations will feature free giveaways, kids’ activities, and, of course, books and materials to check out.
The new FVRLibraries bookmobiles were custom-built for the library district by Farber Specialty Vehicles in Columbus, Ohio, on a Freightliner chassis. Each vehicle is 28 feet long, 11 feet tall, weighs 25,000 pounds, and holds approximately 2,000 items.
The library district anticipates the lifespan for the vehicles to be 12 to 15 years, the same as the 15-year-old bookmobiles they are replacing. The new bookmobiles cost approximately $270,000 each for their design and construction.
A map of all FVRLibraries’ bookmobile stops as well as printable schedules can be found at http://www.fvrl.org/bookmobiles.