Public gets a look at new mobile library

CHILLICOTHE— Residents gathered to see the Chillicothe and Ross County Library’s new mobile unit, nicknamed The Bee on Thursday.

Discovery Garden, a family playgroup that partners with the library, came to explore outside and cut the ribbon on the mobile library, where people were able to get library cards and check out books.

Community members gather to officially welcome

More: Mobile library comes to Chillicothe and Ross County Library

Visitors could enter the $175,000 van and see a wide array of about 1,500 books and DVDs available to borrow.

Chillicothe Mayor Luke Feeney and Appalacian Regional Representative for Senator Sherrod Brown Beth Clodfelter made an appearance to welcome the Bee to the community.

“I think getting a bookmobile makes the library so much moresocial just because you can take the books to places where people can’t get to the library,” Clodfelter said. “People who don’t have cars or don’t have public transportation, people who can’t afford with the gas prices to drive to the library or ride the bus and it’s too far to walk.”

Community members gather to officially welcome

Bobbi Kellough with the Chillicothe-Ross Chamber of Commerce described an early version of a mobile library from 1904 that had a mule-drawn wagon carrying boxes of books. She said we have come a long way then, but many people still have trouble accessing the library.

“There are fewer than 650 bookmobiles in the United States,” Kellough said. “Ross County is so fortunate that the library has the Bee to travel around the county and pollinate our children with the love of reading.”

The library has a variety of outdoor games available to set up outside of the Bee for children and families to play with. For the ribbon-cutting celebration, Discovery Garden came to play with water toys.

Community members gather to officially welcome

Jenn Slone, access director at the Chillicothe and Ross County Library, said she thought of the idea for a mobile library while reading an article about libraries serving as pollinators in their communities. With the COVID-19 pandemic, she saw a need in the community for greater access to library resources.

She said many of the library’s outreach programs are geared towards children. She said the mobile library can benefit anyone in the community, but especially the elderly who may find it difficult to travel to the library.

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