For generations, the residents of small, rural communities in southwest Minnesota have benefitted from a program offered through the Plum Creek Library System known as the bookmobile. Through that program, library services were offered, as a mobile unit would roll into communities each month – allowing the public a chance to check out books and other resources.
That service has officially ended.
According to Mark Ranum, executive director of the Plum Creek Library System, the decision to end the bookmobile program was not an easy one, but when its bookmobile vehicle stopped working the regional library opted that was the time to dissolve the program. The library just did not have the funds to purchase a new vehicle to replace it.
While the bookmobile program has come to an end, that does not mean those communities are going to be without service, as a new program is going to replace it.
The new outreach service is going to be different in that deposit and collection sites are going to be established in communities where books are going to be available when someone is there to operate the site. At first that is going to be for two hours a month with two stops each month.
Ranum said the current bookmobile stops in Milroy, Lucan and Walnut Grove are going to continue, with plans to open a site in Vesta as well.
Ranum said in the future there is the potential to have community volunteers at the sites to help serve people interested in checking out materials, and he said what is placed at each site is going to be based on demand.
“It’s not just going to be a collection of books,” said Ranum, adding there are other options being discussed, such as the summer programs offered in communities in 2012.
The schedule for the sites is being determined, but the plan is to begin in early February.