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Free Bookmobile Seeks PT Mobile Librarian — $20/hour
Written by admin, December 12th, 2019   

Join our team!

We are sad to see our Mobile Librarian go! Her Masters Degree program schedule is more demanding than expected so we now have an opening for a unique job that could make the right person very happy. This part-time position, approximately 2 days/week, will likely start in mid-January but we are accepting applications NOW. Here is the full description:

The Free Bookmobile of Sonoma County has an upcoming opening for a part-time Mobile Librarian in its award-winning outreach program. The Free Bookmobile promotes literacy and love of reading by giving away high quality books throughout the region, especially seeking to serve children and seniors living in low-income and rural areas. This role involves driving our box-truck style bookmobile (about the size of a small RV) on scheduled routes throughout Sonoma County, providing excellent customer service to patrons of all ages as they browse the books, and generally being a strong advocate for reading. It also requires some hours restocking the bookmobile shelves between route days.

The position is approximately 2 days per week and requires some weekend availability. Schedules are made up to one month in advance so it’s relatively easy to plan the rest of your life around it. Shifts range from 7 – 10 hours each and are exempt from overtime up to 10 hours per day. It is a demanding job that will challenge your interpersonal skills and the rewards of working with the people we serve (all ages, races, income levels, from homeless to affluent) can be wonderful for the right person. Some ability with Spanish language preferred as we serve a large Latino population. The wage is $20/hour with no benefits offered.

The appropriate candidate will have:
• Enthusiasm for reading and learning
• A positive and friendly attitude
• Superior customer service skills
• Punctuality and general reliability
• Experience and success working with children
• Excellent driving skills and verifiable safety record (class C only required)
• Ability to lift and carry 40 pounds up and down stairs several times per day
• Known availability a month or more in advance
• Reliable transportation to rural west Sebastopol (our headquarters)
• Lots of energy – we often serve hundreds of patrons in a single shift
• Willingness to turn the phone off and work in an analog environment
• PREFERRED: Significant knowledge of book genres/authors and age-appropriate material for children

Local references and a DMV driving record printout are required as part of the interview process. Passing a Live Scan fingerprint criminal background check is required prior to hire.

The position is likely available for a mid-January start but this is dependent on the construction of our new bookmobile vehicle and mostly out of our control. We will not fill the position until we find the appropriate candidate. Only those who are a close fit for the criteria in this listing should apply. The successful applicant will need to pass a multi-session interview process, including a behind-the-wheel examination and observation of his/her on-site interactions with our patrons.

To apply, email a cover letter and resume (PDF format only or pasted into the email – other file types will not be opened) to Executive Director Glen Weaver: glen[at]freebookmobile.org. In the cover letter, please describe your interest in the position and how you match or exceed the required qualifications. For more information on our work, visit freebookmobile.org. The Free Bookmobile is a registered, independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We are NOT affiliated with the Sonoma County Public Library system.

Thank you for your interest!


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Fundraising Campaign Success Leads to Building of New Bookmobile
Written by admin, December 1st, 2019   

Success

WE DID IT! You did it. Our supporters came to our aid when we needed it most, and we are so very grateful. Our crowdfunding campaign on Fundrazr brought in well over $33,000 and our FUNdraiser Dinner at the Jenner Inn netted another $2,100 toward our outreach services. The Free Bookmobile will ride again!

Thank you for your investment in literacy and love of reading. The vehicle conversion work is well underway, with electrical, lighting and some welding already completed. Bookshelves are being constructed by a local craftsman and those will soon go out for finishing. Once they are installed, we’ll finish up with carpeting and some enhancements to our patron entrance to make things nice and safe. We are hoping for a January launch.

Here’s a fun photo from the archives in celebration. Who remembers our FIRST bookmobile, the little white trailer we towed around behind our family Suburban? In those days we just pulled into parks, homeless shelters, and low-income senior housing…

As many books as you can carry!


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Jenner Inn To Host Free Bookmobile FUNdraiser Dinner
Written by admin, November 5th, 2019   

FB Dinner Flyer

Another great way to support us in our time of need! Our friends at Jenner Inn are generously hosting a gourmet dinner FUNdraiser on November 21 on the gorgeous Sonoma Coast. We’ll have drinks, music, mingling, a lovely meal and a FREE choose-your-own raffle. The Jenner community has always been enthusiastic about our outreach and we are thrilled to have them behind us as we campaign to raise money for our new bookmobile and operations. Huge thanks to Charlie Coyne and his staff at the Jenner Inn for providing everything so that 100% of the proceeds will benefit our non-profit program!

Please check the flyer above for details and get your tickets today as space is limited. You can click here to use a credit card: https://tinyurl.com/y5re88my

OR send a check made payable to “Free Bookmobile” to Jenner Community Club, PO Box 1, Jenner, CA 95450.

See you there!


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Crowdfunding Campaign Launched to Replace Bookmobile Vehicle
Written by admin, October 24th, 2019   

FundRazr

Please help us build a replacement bookmobile so we can continue our important work spreading literacy and love of reading throughout Sonoma County!

We have received notice that our beloved big green truck must be phased out due to new CA air quality regulations. Good bookmobiles are scarce out there on the used market and new ones are extremely expensive. So we’re going to build our own and have set up a crowdfunding page to make it happen: https://fundrazr.com/bookmobile

For the past 10 years, our award-winning non-profit program has been boosting educational outcomes for local children, helping low-income families read together, and offering seniors opportunities for intellectual and social stimulation. We have grown this outreach to serve 25,000 people per year and demand for our bookmobile visits keeps rising. Our site partners want more but it will all come to a sudden halt unless we get a new vehicle ready by the end of the year. Please click here to donate now!

Fortunately we have already tracked down a great base model box truck we can convert. It has a semi-translucent roof for daytime illumination, a suitable patron entrance, and really low mileage on a workhorse V10 engine — should last another quarter million miles without breaking a sweat! Best of all, we won’t be giving up any shelf space compared to our original bookmobile. In fact our new custom interior design will let us offer an even bigger variety of high-quality free books to the public.

Please consider making a generous donation toward our goal! All the money will stay local as we have Sonoma County vendors lined up to do the conversion work: hardware modifications, electric & lighting, carpet, and of course the shelves that will carry thousands of great books of all types and levels to eager readers out there who are challenged for access to other resources. Your donation will only be processed if we reach our ENTIRE GOAL, so you can be assured the project will be completed and our new bookmobile will hit the road. And if you wish, your name and/or donation amount can remain anonymous to other visitors to this page.

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for your help in our time of need!!


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Free Bookmobile Graduates to Independent NPO Status
Written by admin, September 2nd, 2019   

Thank You SCPLF!

After five years of very productive partnership with the Sonoma County Public Library Foundation (SCPLF), the Free Bookmobile has graduated to independent status with its own non-profit registration. We’re striking out on our own to see if we can grow the program into a permanent institution that will outlive its founders!

SCPLF has been a terrific and resilient ally, and we are tremendously grateful for their unflagging support of our mission. They approached us in 2014 with the idea of mutual benefit and their assistance allowed us to focus better on what we do so well: create access to high quality books for the underserved. Our impact grew by 20% in each of the next several years, a testament to the success of the relationship, and a wonderful gift to the children, adults and seniors throughout the region.

The Free Bookmobile now seeks to blossom into a significantly larger organization, which means it’s time to part ways, in application if not in spirit. We continue to appreciate the SCPLF mission: to support of the Sonoma County Public Library System as well as other organizations, programs, and activities that aim to promote the use of library resources, enthusiasm for reading and increased literacy for Sonoma County residents.

Thank you for all we accomplished together!


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Free Bookmobile Restricted to Limited Routes — Seeking Funding for New Vehicle
Written by admin, August 16th, 2019   

THE FREE BOOKMOBILE SERVICE HAS BEEN RESTRICTED TO EXTREMELY LIMITED ROUTES. Our bookmobile engine no longer meets California air quality standards so we can only operate it on a low-mileage exemption. We will be prioritizing our 13 public-access locations for weekend/evening service, plus a few other events to help us meet our grant obligations. Our website schedule page has been updated and we hope to see you out there! We still have terrific books to offer everyone at these select locations.

Ultimately we must acquire a vehicle with engine model year 2010 or newer. This will likely cost $30,000 or more. We’re getting to work on assessing the equipment options and we’ll be posting again here about our fundraising efforts. A new bookmobile will allow us to get back to serving children at their schools and seniors at their residences during weekdays. We apologize for the hiatus in these events.

If you can help us, please contact Director Glen Weaver (phone number and email address on the Contact page of our website: freebookmobile.org). You can also CLICK HERE to go straight to our donation page.

Thank you!!!

 


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Free Bookmobile in Need of Board Books & Early Readers
Written by admin, July 22nd, 2019   

Book examples

We are running low on certain categories of books that are in great demand. Do you have any board books or early readers that you can send our way? Because instilling a love of reading is more successful when begun early in life, we prioritize service to young children and their families. This means we go through a lot of these types of books!

If you are a parent or grandparent with kids who have outgrown these, we’d love to have them for our shelves. Think about how much another child would enjoy them, maybe even a child who wouldn’t otherwise have access to developmentally appropriate reading material. Board books are the ones with tough cardboard pages for babies and toddlers. Early readers are for those just learning to read (usually 5 – 7 years old, preschool through kindergarden or 1st grade). They have simple sentences in large font, a small amount of text per page, and most have a number level on the front. We are in need of all levels but especially Level 1.

For the latest on ALL our children’s book needs, please see our full-page listing categorized by age by clicking here. And you can click here to see our current list of donation drop-off locations. We so appreciate your participation in our literacy program!


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Sydney Miller Hired as New Mobile Librarian
Written by admin, June 1st, 2019   

Sydney Miller

A big welcome to our new Mobile Librarian, Sydney Miller! Sydney comes to us with lots of experience working with children and young adults across a range of contexts. This includes educational and recreational settings with emphasis on interaction, personal growth and team building. We think this is a great fit for helping our patrons access the resources on our shelves. “I am a natural advocate for people in diverse communities to gain access to quality books,” Sydney explained. “As a first generation college graduate, my own youth in a low-income home in Mt. Shasta was supported by the local library. Reading was a connection to our community and to my future education. I was a late bloomer with books and I remember how empowering it was to learn to read.” She has long since put that late start behind her and in fact will be starting coursework for a Masters in School Counseling this fall.

Sydney has been on board training since late April and is now driving routes solo, so you’ll see a lot of her behind the desk. She is looking forward to connecting with all our patrons and continuing to build our bookmobile following. She’s also eager to learn more about various featured authors so be sure to tell her what you’ve been reading lately!

 


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Russian River & Rohnert Park-Cotati Rotary Clubs Come Up Big for Local Literacy
Written by admin, May 14th, 2019   

Rotary -- People of Action

We are thrilled to announce new support from both the Russian River & Rohnert Park-Cotati Rotary Clubs for bookmobile services to be provided in their regions. Rotary boasts a winning formula that blends local philanthropy, active community service, and awareness of some of the most challenging humanitarian issues faced across the globe. These clubs currently connect 1.2 million members from more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Wow!

In particular, the Russian River Rotary Foundation is currently working to help with local flood relief after the disastrous rise in water levels this past winter, especially in Guerneville. The Free Bookmobile is planning to utilize the club’s donation to do just that and make sure that affected children can continue rebuilding their home libraries. Much has been lost and we want to make sure that these kids’ education will be minimally affected. Click here to visit the club’s website where you’ll find a link near the top of the page to contribute to their overall efforts.

We have a long and happy relationship with the Rotary Club of Rohnert Park-Cotati, which is very active in getting hands-on with important community projects. Here’s a bit more about how they describe themselves: “We bring together leaders to identify both problems as well as opportunities. We tap into our professional skills, experience and networks to pinpoint solutions and ideas. Together we roll up our sleeves and mobilize our communities to get the job done. And, of course, in the process we develop great relationships and friends.”

The Free Bookmobile will continue its tradition of creative outreach in their area, which last season included a visit to one of the only home-school Girl Scout Troops in California and surprise service throughout Rohnert Park on New Year’s Day. We are especially impactful in Cotati, which lacks a public library.

Thank you, Rotary, for this support and for your wide-ranging efforts throughout the year!


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New Photo Page Available on Free Bookmobile Website
Written by admin, April 25th, 2019   

2018 Photo Page

It’s that time again! When we finally take a deep breath and look back at the places and people of the previous program year. It was another terrific term for outreach as we visited an all-time high number of locations and continued to search out the children, families, adults and seniors most challenged for access to high quality reading material. We hope you’ll take a little retrospective with us by visiting the “Photos & Videos” section of our website. Just click here to get started. And thank you for your continued support of Sonoma County’s only public-access bookmobile!


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