Bookmobile Library

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Bookmobile Library
Type Libraries (Public)
Industry Information
Fate Active
Headquarters Wooster, Ohio, United States
Number of locations 304 N. Market St., Wooster, Ohio
Parent Wooster Public Library and Museum; Wayne County District Public Library; Wayne County Public Library

The original Book Wagon, which began the first bookmobile service in Wayne County in 1940, was replaced with a “Mystery Bookmobile”, noted in a film clip taken in Smithville dated 1954. There is no documentation regarding the year or make of the 2nd bookmobile in the history of bookmobile service. This mystery vehicle was replaced with a 24 foot 1958 Gerstenslager, so a guess that it was purchased 10-12 years prior would be reasonable. Following twelve years of service, a second Gerstenslager was purchased in 1970. When it was declared unsafe 16 years later, a Bookmobile was leased for a year while a replacement was being built.

A 1987 Barth was built smaller and designed for community stops. Shortly after the Library Board voted to discontinue school stops, an uproar from the public caused the Board to reverse their decision and the Barth began a three week rotation, carrying juvenile books for two weeks visiting school stops, then switching out to include adult books for a week spent on community stops.

Eleven years later, a 30’ Moroney Bookmobile was purchased in addition to the Barth, in order to serve county schools. The Barth remained on the community runs, and thus began the era of two bookmobiles.

A 2003 Bluebird Bookmobile put the Barth into retirement. At 33’ long, it was the largest bookmobile yet, and was designed to serve county schools while the Moroney continued Amish school and Community runs.

July 2009 brought an end to the era of two full-time bookmobiles, with deep budget cuts across the state for all libraries. An immediate result was the cancellation of all county school runs, and the Bluebird was stocked with inventory to visit Amish schools, communities and a handful of small towns that were not located near a county library branch. The Moroney was kept as a back-up and gradually began picking up a few extra runs as the stops became too full to maintain with one bookmobile.

When the Moroney began showing signs of major mechanical problems, a decision was made to replace it with a 2012 Hybrid Freightliner 30’ Step-van, in order to maintain the extra runs the Moroney had allowed us to visit. Green features of our newest bookmobile allow us to run a significant amount of time without relying on the generator, and store energy in a battery bank that runs lights and computers. A diesel-fired heater maintains heat until the temp drops too low. Bookmobile now runs one full-time and one half-time schedule, with time allowance for service and maintenance. Circulation and usage continues to increase each year.

Locations[edit | edit source]

City Directories[edit | edit source]

Comprehensive History[edit | edit source]

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Historical documents[edit | edit source]

Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • 1910 - Miss Myrtle Allen annual reports noted:
    • The loan of books to teachers begun when the library became a school district library was continued with the purchase of books solely for use in schools.
    • A traveling library department was established during this year and for each month of the year, a collection of from 30 to 50 books in a small books case was sent to each school in the city. These books could be taken home by the students so a basis for the school branches to be established in the 1920's and later was made. [1]
  • 1939 - Fall, County Budget Commission granted $1,500 for the purchase of the library's first bookmobile. The truck was manufactured by Indiana Body Company of Richmond, Indiana. [2]
  • 1940 - September 3rd week, the bookmobile was put on exhibit at the Wayne County Fair for all residents to see. [3]
  • 1940 - October 3, The first bookmobile stop was Fredericksburg, Ohio which also was the first Deposit station. In the last 3 months of the year the number of registration of borrowers from the bookmobile came to 2,874. William E. Bartels was appointed librarian of extension including the bookmobile. [4]
  • 1960 - A recommendation was developing the bookmobile to also be used by adults. Staying in the community from school closing to 8:00 PM providing a place for the county citizens to get reading material.
  • 1968 - A bookmobile survey was sent out to school libraries. Miss Katherine Schantz found that most superintendents were dependent on the bookmobile and its services.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 18.
  2. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 31.
  3. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 32.
  4. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 32.

What Links Here[edit | edit source]