New bookmobile is ready to roll

Security Supervisor Kevin Echols tours the bookmobile.

This fall, keep an eye out for “Nellie,” the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System’s newest outreach vehicle. In June, Heights Libraries purchased the bookmobile to serve the University Heights community during the year-long period that the University Heights Library will be closed for renovation. Named after Nell Lynch, a popular former library director, the bookmobile will make scheduled stops around the city; community members can board the bus to browse its small collection of popular books, audiobooks and DVDs for children and adults.

Nellie—a 1995 Cummins diesel engine on a Freightliner chassis—was already retrofitted with bookshelves when Heights Libraries purchased it from Pickaway County District Public Library, near Columbus. It’s got a wheelchair lift, and has electric power to enable a computer to check out books and perform other library functions. With its green and yellow racing stripes, the bookmobile can’t be missed.

A circulation assistant and a reference librarian will be onboard, to assist visitors in placing holds and checking out books, and answer questions. The bookmobile won’t be a location where customers can pick up books they’ve placed on hold, however; library users who formerly picked up their holds at the University Heights Library will now pick them up at the Lee Road Library, unless they select a different library when placing a hold online.

Sara Phillips, the University Heights Library manager, is excited about her new temporary position as “bookmobile manager,” and has been busy coordinating logistics. The first stop she’s organized will be at Cedar Center Apartments on Wednesdays, 1–3 p.m., starting in mid-September.

“We are hoping to reach all areas of the community and plan to make weekly stops and spend at least two hours at each stop,” said Phillips. “Once the plans for the stops solidify, we’ll have the schedule posted on our website and create flyers as well.

“And no, I won’t be driving it,” she added, smiling.

The library’s security staff is more than capable of driving the 30-foot-long bus. Don Crump, security guard, is a licensed school bus driver, and Kevin Echols, security supervisor, and Keith Acey, security guard, are both former firefighters with lots of experience driving large vehicles.

Julia Murphy

Julia Murphy is the marketing and volunteer coordinator for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 10:16 AM, 08.23.2016