“The Robeson County Public Library’s bookmobile is back. The original bookmobile was a 1968 Ford model and began serving the community in August 1969 with the mission to “travel to places not served by a public library,” according to “Remembering The Robeson County Public Library” by Robert Fisher.
The bookmobile served mostly young children and senior citizens, people who were unable to go into town to the local library. After many years of service the bookmobile was in need of updating thus a new bookmobile was purchased to replace the previous vehicle in March 1995.
In 2008, Marvin Paul, our current bookmobile driver, came on board with Robeson County Public Library. His route covers the entire county, reaching out to patrons who are not able to access their local town libraries, maintaining the same goals as the original bookmobile. During his route, he makes stops in local communities, schools, preschools, daycares, nursing home, and housing facilities.
Based on the bookmobile’s circulation record from 2015-2016, it was ranked in the top three for total circulation when compared to the other seven branches in Robeson County. The bookmobile made a total of 830 service stops, circulating more than 13,500 books.
In October, during the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, the bookmobile was affected. The physical vehicle was flooded, which resulted in the loss of approximately 220 books. Robeson County Public Library has been fortunate to receive book donations from organizations and communities to help rebuild the bookmobile collection.
Thankfully many of the books were saved, but the bookmobile vehicle was not as lucky. During the weeks following Hurricane Matthew, the bookmobile patrons were without service. However, a new vehicle was purchased recently to serve as the bookmobile. The new bookmobile, referred to as the “Marvmobile” in honor of Marvin Paul, got back on the road earlier this month. The bookmobile has continued to maintain an audience of young children and senior citizens. Every two weeks the bookmobile makes its rounds to registered organizations delivering crates of pre-selected books.
During each visit, organizations receive 18 books in their crates. Organizations also have the option to request up to seven specific materials from the Robeson County Public Library collection to be delivered during each visit. We are currently registering new organizations to add to our route.
Daycares, preschools, schools, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and housing organizations are eligible to register for an organizational borrower’s card and be served via our outreach services. Interested organizations may contact Marvin Paul 910-738-4859, Ext. 311, or Paula Walton 910-738-4859, Ext. 313 in the Robeson County Public Library’s Outreach Services to register. Visit our website at robesoncountylibrary.libguides.com to stay updated on our progress.
Paula Walton is the outreach librarian for Robeson County Public Library.