Councilor Moore utilizes ARPA funding for Birmingham Public Library “Bookmobile”
“For me, I just think of the possibilities that can come from having this Bookmobile delivering services to residents, especially in neighborhoods that don’t have easy access to a public library,” Councilor JT Moore said as he walked around the newly repurposed para-transit bus that was donated to the Birmingham Public Library by the BJCTA.
Recently, Councilor Moore allocated $52,000 from the District 4 American Rescue Plan Act funding in order to assist with programing and services for the Bookmobile. It goes without saying that public libraries (especially libraries on wheels) are so much more than a place where people can check out books. The Bookmobile is outfitted with free wifi, printers for people who need to use them, computers, STEM programing, story times and more.
For Councilor Moore, this Bookmobile will mean increasing the access to resources for neighborhoods that are not located near a public library — only Woodlawn and Inglenook have public libraries in District 4.
“This is a game changer for how we approach learning and increasing access to knowledge in some of our underserved communities,” Moore said. “Even things like being able to print resumes or utilizing the mobile wifi to look for job postings can have a big positive impact on people’s lives; or even for children who need to print things for their school projects.”
According to the most current report from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, about six percent of public libraries have one or more Bookmobile outlets, with a total of roughly 670 Bookmobiles delivering library services in the U.S.
As Moore toured the bus with fellow Councilor Darrell O’Quinn and library staff, he said his head was brimming with ideas of how this Bookmobile could grow.
“I’ve seen so many other places in the country that have done something similar, but I think the Birmingham Public Library’s Bookmobile is the most modern and up-to-date version of this,” Moore said. “I love anyone who can innovate. This has been a great partnership between multiple groups and I would love to see this expand and have really cool activities around the bus in District 4. This gives us a great opportunity to have programing like book parties, bring in groups that teach dance, creative writing lessons. Really, the possibilities are endless.”
For a calendar of Bookmobile events, or to request an event/new stop, please visit cobpl.org for more information.