Bookmobile News


You are currently browsing the Bookmobile News weblog archives for November, 2010.

Community Foundation Donors Step Up Big for Bookmobile Purchase
Written by admin, November 27th, 2010   

With our dream bookmobile listed for sale in Kentucky, all we had to do was figure out how we were going to pay for it and how we were going to get it home!  You know, just the little details.  Fortunately, a call to our friend Sharon Bard at Bread for the Journey Sebastopol put us in touch with Miguel Ruelas, Director of Philanthropic Services at Community Foundation Sonoma County.  The Community Foundation strenghtens local communities through effective philanthropy and civic engagement by making grants to fund important needs.

After reviewing our proposal, Miguel spoke to donors on our behalf and secured assistance from three very generous parties: the Julia L. Grant Donor Advised Fund, the Bard Family Fund, and an anonymous donor.  These grants closed a substantial gap in our ability to close this deal and bring a vastly improved Free Bookmobile to the county.  We heartily welcome these kind donors and Miguel aboard!

As for the trip from Kentucky to California, it was smooth as silk.  We were fortunate to be warmly hosted by previous owner Bobby Hale and his family after a cross-country flight, and the vehicle brought us back home in four days of dedicated driving duty.  The weather, the roads, the vehicle, and the company were outstanding.  It was a charmed voyage we will never forget.

Free Bookmobile Acquires Spectacular Vehicle
Written by admin, November 27th, 2010   

We did it!  We finally did it!!  And by we, I mean a whole bunch of caring, committed persons and organizations.  After about a year of fundraising, and some last-minute assistance from Miguel Ruelas at the Community Foundation (see next post), we were able to close a deal on a bookmobile up for sale in Pilgrim, Kentucky.  These vehicles don’t come around very often – perhaps we see one per month come up for sale nationwide, and most are too big, too old, or way too expensive for our purposes.

This one is essentially ideal.  It’s a custom-built Moroney Bookmobile, crafted from a Freightliner chassis, Cummins turbo-diesel engine, and Allison transmission.  It features oak shelving and skylights in addition to deep-cycle battery power for our electrical needs.  It’s a 24′ beauty: big enough for lots of books and patrons, compact enough to maneuver around our tight rural backroads.  It will need some additional modifications but the base model is a dream come true.  Bonus: only 30K miles on this motor and tranny.  They’re not even broken in yet!  This baby should serve the people of Sonoma County for many years to come.  We we’re able to give it a test run in Monte Rio and Geyserville last weekend.  The rain started coming down and we were still open for business!  And the people kept coming!  Woo-hoo!  Pictures can be found via our 2010 Photos web page.

We have lots of folks to thank for helping make this purchase a reality.  Mostly we want to thank everyone who has stopped to pick up a book, and then told a friend about what we’re doing.  Our success has a lot to do with these personal recommendations, these recognitions of the value of neighbors helping neighbors.  The model is as old as human beings themselves, and we’re just happy to be a part of it.  We we’re also very pleased to just receive our first inquiry from another county about replicating our type of service…

First 5 Sonoma County Invests in Free Bookmobile
Written by admin, November 26th, 2010   

We were thrilled to receive the news that First 5 Sonoma County has awarded the Free Bookmobile our largest grant to date, fully funding our request.  First 5 invests in Sonoma County’s youngest children by funding programs and services that promote, support, and improve the early development of children from the prenatal stage through age five.

We have already been effective in getting books into the hands of these children, and will be significantly more so once we are traveling the county in a serious vehicle.  We can commit to enhanced service to this age group due to the anticipated ease of visiting multiple locations each outing.  How can you help?  We will soon need more books appropriate for this age group!  It’s always been a challenge for us to keep these stocks healthy, so please consider who might have baby- and toddler-appropriate books to offer us.  We also welcome proposals on the best locations to reach low-income youngsters in particular.