County books deserve a new ride

“The necessity for a new bookmobile might come as a surprise to non-users,” said Rosemary Wynott, bookmobile clerk. “But our present bookmobile is aging.”

According to Wynott, the present 2003 bookmobile used to be an EMTA bus, and has been used as a bookmobile since 2010. It has over 137,000 miles on it and is becoming costly to repair.

“The bookmobile has been assisting patrons in the most rural areas of Bradford County,” said Wynott. “Delivering books and other materials free of charge to those citizens who do not have easy access to a local library.”

The Bradford County Library has had a bookmobile for 76 years. Dawes Markwell was the first librarian and bookmobile clerk. Markwell loved books and saw the need for them as part of rural life. She was determined to get books into the hands of every child in the county.

Those of you who know me know how much I love books and reading. Like Markwell, I shared that love of books and reading with my second graders at Mosherville School. My class looked forward to the bookmobile coming regularly. Students in all grades couldn’t wait to go out and choose books for the classrooms. It became a very special event.

More recently, Wynott has seen an increase in users among home-schooled students in the county. According to Wynott, lots of home-schooling parents using cyber schools browse the library’s collection electronically and have their requests delivered by the bookmobile.

“In fact, we welcome inquiries for service to communities of home-schoolers,” said Wynott.

According to Wynott, there is gas industry impact fund money available to enhance the county. It has been used to build playgrounds; develop the Troy Sale Barn and to improve the Towanda Airport.

“It is our committee’s feeling that the existence of that fund makes this a practical time to replace our fatiguing vehicle with a vehicle specifically designed to be a bookmobile,” said Wynott. “Our desire is to continue providing library services for the rest of this century and we hope to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Bradford County Bookmobile in 2041.”

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