NAMPA, Idaho — The Nampa Public Library is bringing its reading materials to the public with the city's first bookmobile.
Library officials announced they have been awarded $208,800 outfit the bookmobile with books and technology.
The grant was awarded by the Idaho Commission for Libraries with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. Over $1 million in ARPA funds has gone to Idaho libraries to help communities respond to the pandemic.
Fundraising for a bookmobile was slated to kick off in March 2020 but was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic until June 2021. Thanks to this grant, the bookmobile will become a reality in Nampa much sooner than anticipated.
"The Nampa Public Library Foundation is excited about the substantial funding for the bookmobile this grant provides. When combined with money raised by the Foundation, we will be able to purchase and fully outfit a contemporary bookmobile that will increase the library's reach to underserved members of our community and serve Nampa well for years to come," said Nampa Public Library Foundation President Lance McGrath.
The library hopes to have the bookmobile up and running by summer 2022. The bookmobile will strengthen access to city services and will be stocked with approximately 3,000 items.
"This bookmobile will extend library services beyond our centrally located building, establish deep connections with the people we serve and bring life changing resources to those with transportation and mobility issues. We are overjoyed with the myriad of possibilities the bookmobile will bring to our community," said Nampa Library Director Claire Connley.
The mobile library will be a 24-foot-long Sprinter van. The van was chosen over a bus because it is less expensive, is easier and less costly to maintain, is more fuel efficient and will be easier for library staff to maneuver.
Planned bookmobile stops include school and youth centers, underserved neighborhoods, transitional housing, daycares, retirement and assisted living communities, senior centers, parks and community events.
The new bookmobile will be ADA compliant (including a hydraulic lift), hold up to 3,000 items, be a Wi-Fi hotspot, and have laptops available for on-site checkout and use. The bookmobile will also bring maker and STEM technology (i.e., 3D printers and robots) to remote locations, and support job seekers with resources, connectivity, and training programs.