Thursday, October 29, 2009

BOOKMOBILE service to end December 30, 2009

The following message was posted to the WMRLS Email Discussion List on Friday, October 23,2009

Dear Colleagues,

I am sad to let you know that the WMRLS Executive Board has approved a proposal to permanently take the bookmobile off the road at the end of December 2009. The actual proposal, which was developed after much discussion among WMRLS staff members, is attached to this email.

A variety of things make this step necessary---a decade of budget problems, a more recent lack of both drivers to take the bookmobile out and also technical services staff to promptly acquire and process a collection, and most recently the very real threat of a huge budget cut for next year with possible mergers of regional library systems. In addition, the growing number of small libraries joining C/WMARS and MassCat networks has required that the regional library put increasing resources into the WMRLS Delivery Service, and that is a trend that is not expected to slow down.

Any library that has a scheduled bookmobile visit during October, November and December will see the bookmobile as scheduled. It is your decision whether you borrow from the bookmobile as usual or only return materials. We will be working with our “bookmobile libraries” to facilitate the return of the collections they have from WMRLS now. We also will continue to fill deposit requests for materials that we will send out by delivery. You can find the deposit request form online at

The bookmobile program began before the regional library system did, back in the days of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Works Projects Administration in the 1940’s. WMRLS has continued this old-fashioned and beloved tradition as a needed and vital service to the smallest of western Massachusetts’ communities. We have found it challenging to continue the program as it was in its most proud days, so it is with feelings of great sadness that we see it to a graceful end.

Sincerely, Mary King, Regional Librarian, WMRLS


Rebecca said...

I am so sad to see this happen. I know that it is a great resource for the small town libraries, and I am sorry to see it go.

Alison Ernst said...

So very sad. Thank you WMRSL bookmobile(s) for so many years of great service. And thank you WMRLS for continuing to make the hard decisions. Your work difficult is greatly appreciated.

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