Detroit (CBS Detroit) – The Detroit Public Library has retooled its bookmobile, modernizing it to match the expanded services of their library branches while building on a beloved, 80-year-old program.
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Now called the Mobile Library, the trailer will roll around Detroit and Highland Park. It’s got books, of course, but also DVDs, other AV items, computers and wifi. This latest plan comes on the heels of other library efforts to expand access to Detroiters.
“We’re really excited about our brand new Mobile Library,” says Detroit Public Library’s Katie Dowgiewicz. “Our first Bookmobile debuted in 1940, and through the decades we’ve had different versions of Bookmobiles, Libraries on Wheels…and now this is our Mobile Library.”
Besides checking out materials, the Mobile Library lets you apply for a library card on the spot, and they’ll host workshops ranging from basic computer skills to helping people fill out their U.S. Census forms. You can request a book by phone or online and send it on the Mobile Library, then pick it up once when it gets to your local stop.
“With this new Mobile Library, our emphasis is also on technology,” adds Dowgiewicz. “So we have computer stations on-board, we have laptops, we have WiFi, printers, a gaming system and video consoles.”
“I’m the Mobile Library operator, I drive this thing,” says Mobile Library Vehicle Operator Jamika Robison. “It’s challenging but very rewarding. And this time we’re taking more than just books, we have technology that we’re bringing with us, we have programming that we’re bringing with us.”READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming Your Way?
“People are able to come on here, handle their business, print out their bill receipts and what have you,” adds Robison. “You’re able to do everything you can do at a regular branch right here on the Mobile Library.”
“I like the mobile unit because it helps people learn and read,” says Student Nathan Allen-Boswell. “And people in Detroit need that because reading is always better for the community.”
Adds Dowgiewicz, “I’m just really excited that the library has such a prominent role for the citizens of Detroit in the community.”
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