Bringing Books to the NEK

BookMobile Thumbnail GoodLYNDON- On the average day, you may see Cobleigh Library's BookMobile driving all around the Northeast Kingdom. What you may not know is what it does, or how many people it impacts.

 "The BookMobile is a mobile library," said library director Cindy Karasinski. "It carries around 3,000 books, and the services we provide really are very short literacy programs of reading aloud to children."

Since 1999, the BookMobile has been an essential part of the library's ability to deliver books to the Northeast Kingdom. What started as a renovated plumbers van has now evolved into a specifically designed vehicle to fit the library's needs.
The vehicle may carry 3,000 books, but it also has plenty of room for children to sit and listen to stories. Every Friday morning, the BookMobile makes its way to Little Dippers Doodle Day Care in Lyndon, where their kids are read aloud to.

"It's almost like a little field trip every Friday," said Preschool Teacher Lisa Ulrich. "The experience of being able to come out of the classroom and extend our space, and to be able to be excited about learning, not just in our room, but to be able to bring that outside, and to bring that love to other classrooms as well, because other kids go on it too."

"Kids love having us read to them. They're very engaged when we're reading to them. Answering our questions, all different age groups we read to. It's a lot of fun," added BookMobile Director Colleen Lariviere.

But even more important than getting the kids out of the classroom is getting them engaged.

"Not all children are read aloud to, and the children that are read aloud to advance more rapidly with their word development, their listening skills, all their pre-reading emergence skills they need to learn to read," stated Karasinski.

"The importance I think the BookMobile gives us is the fact that it builds those very important foundational early literacy skills. And maybe even more so, the love of books. In our technology world of e-books and iPads and things like that, there's nothing better than just the turning of a page, and being able to have those kids immerse themselves in literature, and be able to have it at the tips of their fingertips," added Ulrich.

Many people wonder why the BookMobile is needed. All someone has to do is go to the library and check out books. But for many around the NEK, it's not that easy, according to Ulrich.

"Not everybody has access to be able to get in their car and go to a library. It can come right here to them. They can bring it home. They can be excited with their families, and just share that love of books and that love of reading and pulling the words off the page just brings tears to my eyes."

The BookMobile is funded only by gifts, grants, and donations, which occasionally makes it tough to find funding. But for the past 20 years, they have continued to fuel the BookMobile and reach those around the community.

"We're just grateful the community does come out and support it," added Karasinski.

The BookMobile reaches dozens of programs around the NEK, including day cares, elementary schools, and adult learning programs. If anyone would like to find out more, visit Cobleigh Library's website.

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