SPOONER, WI -- Spooner Memorial Library’s “Bibliodragon: Books & Bread Bookmobile” hits the road on March 2, 2023 after a ribbon cutting ceremony. The public is welcome to attend the ceremony and watch as the converted cargo van takes its maiden voyage to Stone Lake Town Hall, Bass Lake Town Hall, and the Springbrook VFW Post.
Bibliodragon will initially serve locations in 13 townships in Washburn County, including Bass Lake Town Hall, Beaverbrook Township (Church of the Nazarene), Birchwood Town Hall, Brooklyn Town Hall, Brooklyn Township (Christ Lutheran Church), Chicog Town Hall, Crystal Town Hall, Evergreen Town Hall, Gull Lake Town Hall, Long Lake Town Hall, Madge Town Hall, Springbrook VFW Post, Stone Lake Town Hall, and Trego Town Hall. A stop at Spooner Town Hall is coming soon. The current bookmobile schedule is available in the library or at spoonerlibrary.org/bookmobile.
After almost 40 years of service, the last bookmobile that served Washburn County was retired in 1999, despite grassroots efforts to keep it on the road. It served 63 communities in northwest Wisconsin through Northern Waters Library Service. The rural areas of northwest Wisconsin have been without a bookmobile since then and there are currently no bookmobiles in the entire northern region of Wisconsin. Bibliodragon addresses the needs of rural communities throughout Washburn County, and we are excited to join Wisconsin’s fleet of only 7 other bookmobiles in the entire state.
Outreach Librarian and Bibliodragon driver, Katy Larson, will provide community members with access to library cards, books with extended due dates, hold requests, free Wi-Fi, and community resources. Books for all ages are available on the bookmobile but an emphasis is placed on large print and other adult books.
Bibliodragon will also fight food insecurity in Washburn County through an initiative started by the library called Books & Bread. Books & Bread is a partnership that began in June 2021 with Feed My People Food Bank, Community First Washburn County Incorporated, Shell Lake Public Library, Church of the Nazarene in Spooner, and Christ Lutheran Church in Trego. Since June 2021, Books & Bread has provided free food to over 4,000 individuals through a monthly drive-thru distribution that occurs on the 4th Wednesday of each month.
This summer, Bibliodragon plans to make additional stops at local schools, nursing homes, and daycare centers. The possibilities are endless for Bibliodragon and what it can do to serve the community. Local organizations are invited to contact the library if interested in hosting Bibliodragon at their location.
“Bibliodragon: Books & Bread Bookmobile” was made possible by a $97,000 Institute of Museum and Library Services ARPA Grant. The library was selected by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction to receive a Library as a Center of Community Resiliency grant to purchase a bookmobile. The bookmobile that was quoted when the grant was written was no longer available, so the librarians, with help from community members, built their own. In April 2022, a 2021 Ram ProMaster 3500 cargo van arrived from Florida on a cold, windy day, and so began the makeover of what would become known as Bibliodragon.
The van was wrapped with a unique dragon design after the community chose the name “Bibliodragon”. It was outfitted with insulated walls and flooring, specialty shelving, a wheelchair ramp, and additional electricity through the generosity of Josh Saunders from Attention to Detail and Dan Manning from Eminent Sales and Service in Spooner. With the retrofitting of the van, the library saved a significant amount of money and was able to purchase almost $15,000 worth of books and safety equipment.
The schedule for bookmobile stops can be found online at spoonerlibrary.org/bookmobile. For more information, email Katy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the library at 715-635-2792.