The Albany County Public Library’s New Bookmobile
The Albany County Public Library (ACPL) has invested in a new addition to their library services. Their new bookmobile has room to hold between 4,000 and 6,000 library materials including books, DVDs, CDs, board games and any other library items one could find at the main library branch. ACPL is also working through partnerships to provide internet access within the bus.
The bookmobile was previously owned by the Natrona County Public Library. Rachel Crocker, ACPL Director explains, “They [Natrona County Public Library] were buying a new one, and so they sold us their used one for a really amazing deal.” The bookmobile was officially purchased in Casper on March 5th through the ACPL Foundation for $30,000. For context, a brand-new bookmobile costs closer to $300,000.
Crocker is hoping for an official unveiling in July after the ACPL graphics are put on the bookmobile. “The key thing we are going to do with the bookmobile is use it as a West Laramie branch, to be able to provide better access to library services in those neighborhoods,” Crocker says. “Our main branch is accessible to a lot of people but not to everybody. We know that delivery is great, but people also really like to browse themselves… We are really excited about the way it allows us to be a library on wheels and dream up a whole new world of services that we weren’t able to do before.”
The current plan is to use the bus for partnerships with community organizations and after school programs, for story times, and at local farmers markets and other events. Laramie citizens will be able to check out and return items through the bookmobile just like at the main library branch. “We are in the process right now of brainstorming with the library staff and the Laramie community. We are completely open to ideas of all of the different ways we can use this new addition.” The Library also plans to use the new bookmobile to expand their Spanish language collection both for adults and children.
Crocker explains that the Library is still seeking funding to expand on the bookmobile and bring its services to the Laramie community. “We have the first pieces of funding, but we are continuing to work on grants and will most likely pursue some community fundraising events to help fill up our bookmobile.” If community members are interested in donating to the bookmobile project, all donations will go through the ACPL Foundation. Questions, ideas, and donations can go through the foundation.acplwy.org website.
“We really want this to be a community project, we are totally open right now if people have ideas for ways that we could make the most of this project.” To share ideas with the Library, please contact Rachel Crocker at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.