First Year on the Bookmobile

by on July 30th, 2018

Bookmobile at Mercer ParkThe FY18 statistics are in and what a GREAT first year for the Bookmobile! From July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, 15,233 people visited the ICPL Bookmobile and checked out 25,885 items.

The Bookmobile drove 3,863 miles around Iowa City and Johnson County. The Bookmobile’s checkouts per mile varied from a low of 5 in January and February to a high of 10 in July. The Bookmobile averaged 7 checkouts per mile driven in FY18.

Staff at the Bookmobile hosted 96 programs for children with 3,158 people attending. Most programs were a part of Stories in the Park, but there were many other special programs as well.

The University of Iowa Community Credit Union-Mormon Trek stop checked out the most items for an individual stop – 2,717. Lemme Elementary was the next busiest stop (2,444 checkouts) followed by Mercer Park (2,110) and Breckenridge Estates (2,156).

Bookmobile staff collected many wonderful stories while out in the community. My favorite story is service to Breckenridge Estates in rural Johnson County. Each week, a teacher from Lemme Elementary meets us at Breckenridge and helps students find books. She also brings sweet treats the children enjoy. On the last day of Bookmobile service last summer, two siblings came to the Bookmobile wearing the Summer Reading Program t-shirts they earned by completing all the required  SRP activities. They were especially proud of their t-shirts because they had never had an opportunity to participate in Summer Reading Program before. Living 5 miles out in the country without a ride to town, Summer Reading Program was not accessible until the Bookmobile rolled into their neighborhood.

Another happy story is the children who visit the Bookmobile at Mark Twain Elementary after school. Staff from their after school program, run by the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County, help the children to find books and movies to check out. They also give reminders to return Bookmobile materials. Students at Mark Twain Elementary checked out 1,851 items from the Bookmobile in FY18.

Our most fun stop this summer has been the College of Medicine Courtyard stop on Thursdays from 11AM-1PM. It’s 12 Food Trucks plus the Bookmobile parked on the MERF/PBDB/BSB Courtyard with live music. We have many staff from the College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics visit us and everyone is happy because there’s delicious food and great books and movies.

If you haven’t visited us yet this summer, there’s still time. The Summer Schedule runs through August 17. Then we take a break for a week and the Fall Schedule begins on Monday August 25. Watch this blog for Fall Schedule announcements.

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