Mobile Libraries Improve Access To Information

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Melissa Millman and Tracie Hitchens of the Delaware Department of Libraries helped residents of Heritage at Milford assisted living facility on Tuesday, April 15 as they picked out books and movies from the Mobile Library. Making their rounds every three weeks, Millman and Hitchens offer residents access to information and entertainment.

An outreach program of the Delaware Department of Libraries, the Mobile Library provides public library materials and services to area individuals in residential facilities, schools and daycares who would otherwise have limited access to these valuable community resources. Visiting sites every three weeks, mobile library users enjoy the convenience as the bus comes directly to them. Serving multiple locations in Milford, Millman and Hitchens enjoy providing a wide variety of popular fiction and nonfictions books in hardcover, paperback, and large print formats, videos, audio-cassettes, books on tape, CDs, DVDs, and magazines.

“It seems like it makes their day, many times they are waiting outside for us to arrive,” commented Millman as she spoke about the residents of Heritage at Milford. “It brings a smile to their faces.”

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 do not 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.

“Many residents simply do not have the opportunity to go to their local libraries,” commented Millman. She commented that sometimes the seniors get just as excited as the kids do. “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.  The Sussex County bus was redesigned last year and is back in service visiting communities across lower Delaware. 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 mobile library has different stops each week and is on a three-week rotation. The mobile library visits places like daycares, nursing homes, and Boys & Girls Clubs in Delaware. In Milford specifically, the mobile library goes to the Heritage at Milford 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.

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