Mobile Library Brings Access To Rural Areas

By Kristen Gloss

Finding the time to fit everything that needs to be accomplished into a day is often difficult, especially if it is not as urgent as going to the bank. However, the mobile libraries that cover Milford make it easier for readers to have the time to acquire books.

“It’s a library on wheels,” said Hilary Weliver, Kent County Library Director.

Milford has two mobile libraries – one that covers Kent County and another that covers Sussex County.  Both aim to serve the underserved community members, often in rural areas and places where people don’t have access to a library.  They serve anyone and have had readers from young children to 95 year-olds.  These mobile libraries function just like a traditional library does by allowing readers can check-out books, and other media and put materials on hold.

“Sometimes the seniors get just as excited as the kids do,” said Melissa Millman,  Sussex County Mobile Library Manager.  “We’re trying to get out there and help spread the joy of reading.”

The Sussex County’s mobile library has been around for a long time, at least back into the 1950’s, Millman said.  It was out of service earlier this year to be redesigned, but got back into business this past June.  A tour of the mobile library can be seen on Sussex Countian’s website http://www.sussexcountian.com/video/x1446663356/Touring-the-Sussex-County-Mobile-Library

The mobile library has different stops each week and is on a 3-week rotation. The mobile library visits places like daycares, nursing homes, and Boys & Girls Clubs.  In Milford specifically, the mobile library goes to the Heritage Nursing Home on Tuesdays, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. The Milford stop for the Kent County bookmobile is at the Veterans’ home every Thursday from 1:00 to 2:15 p.m.

The Kent County bookmobile service has been in place since 1988.  Its current bookmobile, “Lucy” went into service in April 2004 according to the Kent County Library’s website. The name Lucy came from Lucy Urban, who visited the bookmobile every other week with her brother until her passing.  To honor her and her donation of part of her estate to the Kent County Public Library and to the SPCA, this bookmobile was christened “Lucy.” According to the website, “Via the bookmobile, Lucy’s legacy still travels throughout the County giving pleasure to other residents of Kent County.”

“It’s great to just go around and see different places,” said Millman, about working on the mobile library. “[The community members] get such a kick out of getting the books and coming onto the bus.  The people are so happy that we come.”

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