We all know the library provides an endless amount of resources for people who use their services. But what if the library could come to you? That's exactly what the Tuscaloosa Public Library is doing with their Bookmobile.
The City of Alberta just approved an additional 23,000 dollars for a mobile library.
The Bookmobiles travel all over Tuscaloosa County. But this money is particularly important for Alberta City. It doesn't have a local library branch. And the elementary school library was destroyed in the April 27th tornado. But, this library on wheels is filling that void.
"Everybody deserves easy, low cost, or free access to books and data bases and DVD's," said Mary Elizabeth Harper, Executive Director of the Tuscaloosa Public Library.
She says, since the April 27th tornado, people of Alberta City are returning and slowly rebuilding.
"They still need services that they needed before. They need some new services. And it occurred to us that the school system is talking about including a public library in the soon-to-be rebuilt elementary school,"
But that wouldn't be until 2014. The students need a library now. The answer? Tuscaloosa Public Library's Bookmobile.
The Bookmobiles have been around for many years, making periodic stops throughout the county. But Alberta City students were in desperate need of consistency.
So, in August..
"We're there Monday through Thursday from 2:30 to 5:30," said Nancy Boyd, director of community engagement.
On those days, in the parking lot of the Piggly Wiggly, students have access to more than 300 books. If what they need isn't there ... They have full access to the library's data base.
"Bookmobile is a library on wheels. It's completely its own branch. Anything you would do at the main branch of the library you can do here. Hold books, check out DVDs, reserve different things," said Boyd.
Alberta resident and former educator, Kelvin Croom says the Bookmobile is a great way to promote literacy. More importantly, a positive change for a city that has been through so much.
"Of course I'm a believer in reading. And I do know that having access to library services is important. And Alberta with its loss from the tornado, it's very thoughtful to have such a resources right there in walking distance," said Croom.
The 23,000 dollars will be used to pay the part-time librarians since the bookmobile will be in Alberta City so often throughout the week.
We're told that anywhere between 50 to 100 books are checked out daily. So the people of Alberta are definitely making good use of it.