The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

February 17, 2010

Grant approved for new bookmobile

State Director Robert D. Lewis announced Wednesday that USDA Rural Development approved a Community Facilities Grant in the amount of $27,000 for the Raleigh County Public Library.

“The funding provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be utilized to purchase a new bookmobile,” Lewis said.

The Raleigh County Public Library currently has two bookmobiles, each over 20 years old and over 60,000 miles on each of them, nearing the end of their useful life. They are beginning to rust, repair costs are becoming higher and it is nearly impossible to find parts for them. They are very inefficient and not modern in design or technical features.

The library uses the bookmobile to serve the rural areas of Raleigh County where there are no libraries. These areas are all reached by way of two-lane mountainous roads. Many of the residents of these areas are not able to journey to Beckley to use library services.

The bookmobiles serve nearly 100,000 children, seniors and disabled individuals each year. Without them, these rural residents would not have access to books, newspapers, audio, and other resources. They serve as an education tool to empower the residents, especially children, to enrich their lives through education and they also serve as a social function with an educational benefit for seniors, keeping their minds active.

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