Bookmobile News

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New Book Donation Drop-Off in Downtown Santa Rosa
Written by admin, January 27th, 2010   

It is with great pleasure that I have been introduced to Paul Rippert by mutual friend and Bookmobile donor Shannon Trayle. Shannon has been a terrific volunteer for COTS at the Mary Isaak Center shelter in Petaluma, where I met her, and quickly became enthusiastic about what the Bookmobile is doing with literacy outreach. She pitched the idea of hosting a drop-off box to her friend Paul, and he graciously agreed. The box has just been set in place and book donations are now accepted at his cylinder head specialty shop – Paul’s Empire Head Shop & Engine Supply. The location is very convenient to downtown Santa Rosa: it’s a bright blue building just off West Third Street (and easily visible from it) near the freeway. The address is 112 Roberts Avenue, and the phone is 546-4324.

An exciting aspect of this location is that it boasts a large mail slot next to the front door. I mean this is a serious slot, and could probably accommodate even the latest Clancy thriller. With the drop box positioned on the other side, we can accept donations here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

So don’t forget to tell your friends how easy it is to get books to us now. All four of our drop-off locations are listed on our “Donate Books” page, which is accessible through our “Help Us!” page.


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Mission Statement Accomplished
Written by admin, January 26th, 2010   

On sitting down to write an article for a local newsletter, I realized that we didn’t yet have a formal mission statement. It’s easy to tell people what we do when they are standing in the midst of free books on display, and in fact one of my favorite questions is: “How does this work?” (My favorite answer is: “You find something you like and take it home.”) It is a bit more challenging to describe the project when we aren’t on location but of course this is very important. Spreading awareness of the Free Bookmobile has made us many new friends and volunteers. In the interest of keeping this momentum building, I am proud to unveil our mission statement:

The Sonoma County Free Bookmobile promotes literacy and love of reading by giving away high quality books to persons throughout Sonoma County. On a mission of outreach, the Free Bookmobile especially seeks to serve children and senior citizens living in rural and low-income areas.

Whaddya think? Does it capture the magic? As always, feedback is welcome!


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Thank You For Making the Free Bookmobile a Big Success in 2009
Written by admin, January 3rd, 2010   

In the interest of tuning our efforts and learning to describe what we do, it’s helpful to occasionally look back at what we’ve accomplished. The end of the year seems like a good marker, so let’s review.

We’ve been giving away books for just over five months, beginning on July 26, 2009. Including yesterday’s fun in the Graton and Larkfield sun, we’ve hosted a total of 31 events in 27 unique locations around the county, giving away a total of 5,495 books to 1,535 different persons! This includes 558 children and 365 seniors.

We didn’t set goals for these initial months but suffice it to say that the results have handily exceeded our expectations. We are so very grateful for the support that made it happen. To all you kind souls out there who took the time to find a better home for your books – thank you. Your donations are the life blood of this effort. If only you could see the smiles you create and hear the happy songs you inspire (yes, some patrons walk away singing). To all our volunteers and financial supporters who share themselves for the sake of the project – thank you. We could not have come half as far without your generosity.

Our only disappointments were a couple of events that were canceled (or cut short) due to rain. With that in mind, we are collecting donations toward the purchase of an enclosed bookmobile, perhaps in the style of a ‘walk-through’ delivery truck. The social atmosphere of outdoor book-browsing has been superb, so we will continue to bring the rolling carts along whenever possible. But a truck will allow us to serve the good people of Sonoma County under cover whenever the weather turns lively and the sun sets early.

Onward then, into 2010. Won’t you please come along with us?


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Episcopal Senior Communities Provides Storage Solution
Written by admin, January 3rd, 2010   

Thanks to the kindness of our neighbors, the Laszlo family, we have to date enjoyed the use of a garage for our book storage. It was a very convenient arrangement, as we could pull the Bookmobile right up to load for the day’s giveaway events. It was not, however, a particularly dry arrangement, as the structure sits over gravel with no formal floor. As the air become quite moist this fall, boxes began sucking up water and that spelled trouble for the books. The short-term answer was to keep them moving – give them away! We’ve been doing a decent job of that and at the same time, have been investigating more peace of mind.

Fortunately Ruth Robeson of Episcopal Senior Communities (ESC) got in touch to indicate that they would like to continue to support our mission. ESC are the good folks who purchased our rolling carts for us back in July. They are now stepping up with a commitment to rent a storage container for our donations. We can keep the books much drier in this unit, and well organized as it will have lots of floor space. And it will be just as convenient, placed along the driveway near the Bookmobile’s home.

Many thanks to Ruth and all of the service-minded individuals at ESC. Though their generosity will allow us to receive larger deliveries of donated books, our mantra will remain the same: Keep them moving – give them away!


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