County library system prepares mobile library for spring 2017
County requests art submissions for mobile librar y
County Commissioner Amanda Stewart has frequently championed the county’s library system as one of the staples of the community. However, she said, everyone hasn’t al- ways had the same access because of location.
In 2017, that will change, she said, with the addition of the county’s bookmobile or mobile library. And in prepara- tion for it, the county has begun an art submission contest for local artists to submit pieces into a contest where they could potentially be featured on the outside of the mobile librar y.
The theme for the art submissions is “learning, discovery and technology” according to Crystal Hunt, a spokeswoman for Charles County Gov- ernment. Stewart said she is excited to see the winning submission and called the contest a “great endeavor.”
This was one of Stewart’s first projects as a commissioner, she said, and she made it a priority.
“I don’t want to wait four years to get this done,” she said.
As a member of the Charles County Library System Board of Trust- ees, Stewart has been a supporter of having a mobile library throughout her stint as a commissioner. Now, she said, it is becoming reality for not just her, but the county’s residents as well.
“Having books available throughout our community is import- ant,” Stewart said. “I’m really looking forward to that. Being able to go to different areas, daycare centers, senior areas, areas where they don’t have really good Wi-Fi.”
The bookmobile was once a community trea- sure, Stewart said, but has since disappeared from tradition. When she was in school, she said, they were one of the things she looked for- ward to each school year.
“To be able to bring that back is huge,” she said.
The mobile library will be 26 feet long with 17 feet of loading space. It will be wheelchair accessible with a lift, have four computer stations for public use and will be able to hold up to 2,000 books at a time.
Adult, teen and chil- dren’s collections will be featured and online resources will be available as well with a free Wi-Fi connection.
Janet Salazar, the ex- ecutive director of the Charles County Library System, said the public library has a lot to offer as a community education institution and will now increase what they can give with the mobile librar y’s accessibility.
Everything the local libraries around the county have to offer will now be available to a wider range of people because of the library’s mobility, she said. That includes “neighborhoods, schools, community centers, events or even local businesses.”
The librar y will be open to the public and on the road in spring of 2017, Stewart said. Currently, she said, it is scheduled to begin operating “sometime in April.”