MidPointe Library’s new Bookmobile was officially welcomed into public service on “National Bookmobile Day,” Wednesday, April 11, with a ribbon-cutting, congratulations from public officials and a warm reception from onlookers.
The 30-foot Bookmobile was the backdrop for the sunny but windy celebration at Fort Liberty Playland in Liberty Township, one of the communities in its service area. Sporting MidPointe’s signature colors, an image of library mascot Shakespurr and the slogan “Library on Wheels,” the vehicle also welcomed aboard members of the public who stopped by to check out materials.
MidPointe Director Travis Bautz opened the ceremony by declaring that the Bookmobile “represents a great many things...a return to tradition...increased access to library materials and services to everyone in eastern Butler County...hard work on the behalf of library staff…[and] collaboration.
“It was truly the generosity and support of the community that made this project a reality,” Bautz said. “From our patrons who visit everyday, to our elected officials, to our local schools and businesses, to our Chamber, our community supports us and we are happy to be here to serve you…”
This year marks the first time in 30 years that a MidPointe Library (formerly Middletown Public Library) Bookmobile has travelled on public streets and roads. The first Bookmobile took to the streets in 1938, with successors in 1951, 1963, 1971 and 1974, according to MidPointe’s Digital Archives.
Guest speakers included Joseph A. Hinson, president and chief executive officer of the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance, who commended the library for “going to the customer” by way of the Bookmobile. He described the vehicle as a “traveling billboard for the good of the entire community.” Hinson and Christy Gloyd, who also represented the Chamber, presented a congratulatory certificate to the library director.
Liberty Township Trustee Christine Matacic said the Bookmobile harkens back to the “grassroots” of the library and added that it will give new generations of children an opportunity to read and explore their world.
A proclamation recognizing Liberty Township and MidPointe Library for serving their communities was presented to Bautz on behalf of State District 52 Representative George F. Lang of West Chester.
Also present for the ceremony were Beverly Cain, State Library of Ohio Agency Director and State Librarian, and Missy Lodge, Associate State Librarian for Library Development.
MidPointe was awarded a $50,000 LSTA grant to purchase a Bookmobile to better serve the 200,000+ residents within its 220-square-mile service area.