The Bookmobile Goes to School

Greene County Public Library’s Bookmobile visits dozens of schools, preschools, and day care centers each month. What happens during these visits?

School visits are usually fast-paced: Each individual class signs up for a 20-minute time slot to come out to the Bookmobile and pick out their books.

After a quick rundown of the rules—“You can pick out two books, use your inside voices, and don’t shove”—students take to the shelves. The books have the same call numbers and genre stickers as any other library location. They are arranged by grade level, with the easiest reads on the lowest shelves so the youngest students can easily retrieve them. 

One Bookmobile staff member checks books out while the other helps students find books and reshelves returns. If they have time after making their selections and checking them out, students can sit on the ledges at the base of the shelves and start reading.

A class fits surprisingly well on the Bookmobile. “It looks smaller on the outside, but fitting people in isn’t usually a problem,” says Cameron, one of the Bookmobile Clerks. It does sway a bit with a full class inside, rocking with excitement as kids reach for the perfect book. 

Sometimes the Bookmobile staff will host a story time, although that’s more common when they visit preschools or day care centers and the schedule isn’t as tight. And occasionally the Bookmobile team will even be invited to attend school assemblies, like when they were invited to watch a group of Irish dancers with the students. “The kids knew we were there, and it was cool to be able to share that experience,” says Stacy, the Bookmobile Manager. “We were able to talk about it afterward with them, which helps us to build a relationship with students.”