The Elyria Public Library System has announced that its aging bookmobile has been forced into retirement. Library Director Lyn Crouse said that since costly repairs would be necessary to keep it roadworthy, she had to make the difficult decision to take it out of service at this time. The Elyria Public Library System is working with patrons at the schools, nursing homes, and community agency stops to resolve outreach service. Possibilities include deposit collections, where a mini-library will set up at the site; lobby stops, where staff will tote crates and bags of books into the location; and deliveries of curriculum-based materials by request to schools and daycares.

The bookmobile has been a recognizable presence in the community since 1985 when it began providing services throughout the Elyria City and Keystone school districts. The bookmobile circulates 60,000 items and operates for 1,400 hours annually. The current vehicle has logged over 90,000 miles in 16 years.

With the bookmobile’s retirement, however, comes the announcement of a new bookmobile due to arrive in late March. Crouse said that the new vehicle has been in the works for well over a year, and the timing of the new bookmobile replacing the old would have been just right except that the required Ford 550 truck chassis from the Avon plant was delayed by a backlog after the facility changed over its operations to produce heavy trucks.

The new bookmobile will be a different style vehicle, and its smaller size will make it easier to maneuver through the city streets and parking lots. It will feature an interchangeable book cart system. The staff can prepare carts of appropriate materials for the scheduled stops ahead of time and lower them from the bookmobile via a power lift to take into a lobby stop at a community facility. The lift will also provide handicapped accessibility for patrons for the first time.

The Library looks forward to continuing to serve the community with the bookmobile and outreach services now and in the future.

For more information about the Elyria Public Library System’s Bookmobile schedule or services please call 440-324-9817 or visit the Library website.