TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
Times-Tribune Staff Report
With the closure of the southern and eastern branches of the Laurel County Public Library, their Bookmobile program will be expanding with additional stops to cover all areas of Laurel County.
The Bookmobile has been serving the local community for more than 55 years and more than 200 patrons are served by the Bookmobile, according to Bookmobile Librarian Eugenia “Gena” Irvin, and she hopes that number will continue to grow.
“Patrons know they can count on getting their books,” she said.
Margie Anders, 80, has been receiving books through the Bookmobile since she retired five years ago. She has arthritis in her knees and says that the Bookmobile has been more than a help — it’s also provided a friend.
“I don’t have much company, and when Gena comes and brings me books, she talks to me and it’s company for me, too. When she leaves, I go through the books and it’s like opening Christmas presents. I just love it,” Anders said.
Irvin delivers books to each of the Bookmobile patrons every two weeks. Her stops include two nursing homes, preschool and daycare centers, a private school, senior apartment tenants and two blind adults. Each patron receives as many books as their library card will hold. Audiobooks are also available through the Bookmobile.
Irvin believes the Bookmobile is a huge asset to Laurel County because there is no other service like it to bring the books patrons request to their doors free of charge. In addition, the Bookmobile brings the world to its patrons via reading, allowing those otherwise unable to reach the main library to read about different places and people, and provides the opportunity to learn a new skill or craft.
“The Bookmobile is an important part of the library services here in Laurel County. It’s part of a long-standing tradition in the state of Kentucky and it fulfills a real need right here at home,” said Peggy Mershon, library director.
Mershon added, “Readers know how much they enjoy books and want to share that love of reading with others. We hope everyone will give some thought to people they know who would qualify for and enjoy the Bookmobile service.”
Currently, the Bookmobile offers a variety of books for children and adults in every genre. Requests may be taken from Bookmobile patrons and are delivered as soon as possible. The main goal of the Bookmobile Outreach Program is to provide reading materials to those who are physically unable to visit the library, particularly senior citizens and children.
“Being able to get the preschool children excited about reading and helping keep the seniors’ love of reading alive is the best thing about the bookmobile. The personal service a Bookmobile gives can not be beat,” Irvin said.
For more information on the Laurel County Public Library Bookmobile Outreach Programs or to apply for the bookmobile service, call 864-5759.