Rockingham County gets new bookmobile

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- In Rockingham County, the bookmobile is still a popular way to check out books and magazines.

"This is the Rockingham County Government building and we come to them monthly and they enjoy it," said Rockingham County Public Library Director Michael Roche. "They come running down here and they are down here to get books from the library."

As it turns out, the excitement over a bookmobile is statewide. State Librarian of North Carolina Cal Shepard explains the enthusiasm over bookmobiles.

"A lot of libraries thought everyone has a car," said Shepard. "They can drive to library now. But that isn't true."

Shepard said over the last five to 10 years, more North Carolina library systems are buying bookmobiles. So with federal and local money, Rockingham County bought a new $128,000 bookmobile. Every week the library on wheels will stop at places like apartments, community centers and schools. The bookmobile is special because it only carries books for a specific audience.

"It is a very work intensive thing," Roche said. "We have to select what does your mother or grandmother like to read. Then we have to determine that and pack it and take it to her."

Roche and Shepard said the mobile hot spot is the best feature on the new bookmobile. Anywhere the bookmobile goes, you have the internet. This is a great amenity to have, especially in a rural county.

"I assume cars will be driving up and people may never get out of their cars," Shepard said. "They will park and log onto the hot spot and use that service."

Plus the hot spot will allow the new bookmobile to be used for multiple classes like job searching techniques and resume writing. Roche said the Rockingham County Board of Elections is planning to use the bookmobile as well.

The bookmobile is going to high schools, where seniors and juniors can do voting registration and learn about elections. And with an internet connection, students can register to vote.

The new Rockingham County Public Library bookmobile hits the streets very soon. Here is their schedule for the month of May.