The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

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By Forrest Hershberger
Publisher, Sun-Telegraph 

Bookmobile Connects Resources with Readers


September 29, 2021 | View PDF

It is the image of an updated school bus. The school yellow and black has been exchanged for white, with blue lettering. It isn't inhabited by a start-up band or college philosophers seeking the meaning of life, although it does have many adventures within it. It brings with it the resources to let people take their own adventures.

In the definition of rural life, libraries reach those who are within a short distance or have the means to commute. The other option is to bring the library to the people.

Sidney Public Library is continuing the tradition of bringing reading and audio resources to the borrowing public with the bookmobile.

The Sidney Public Library bookmobile travels to various locations throughout the county Monday through Wednesday. The bookmobile stops at daycare centers, preschools and in smaller communities post offices. It also has scheduled stops at Western Heritage apartments and the Extended Care Center in Sidney. The service is available to anyone in the county.

“Basically, if you have a library card, you can check out a book” or recorded material, said Jenny Gilbert.

Gilbert is the driver and librarian of the bookmobile since July 21.

The bookmobile is stocked with a variety of books including children's books, easy readers, juvenile level books, as well as adult level books. Gilbert says the bookmobile is essentially an extension of the library.

“If the library has it, I can get it for my next stop,” she said.

Gilbert says the Bookmobile has about 100 visitors each month; summer months can be as low as 50.

“It definitely is higher during the school year as we go to lots of community schools,” she said.

Numbers also vary with the location, she said.

The Sidney Public Library is also adding activities. Story Time for children ages 4-5 starts Thursday at 10:15 a.m. The program includes story-related finger plays. On the fourth Thursday of each month, the Library hosts 1, 2, 3 Scribble. The program combines writing and drawing with children encouraged to draw and picture, then writing a story about the picture. Toddler Tales will be held at 10:15 a.m. on Wednesdays. Toddler Tales is for children ages 2-3. Toddler Tales includes a story, finger plays, opportunities to learn rules of etiquette and socializing skills.

The emphasis for October is “Together is Fun.” Beginning Oct. 12, every other Tuesday, children kindergarten through 6th grade can participate in craft and games.

“It has been fairly successful,” said Children's Librarian Eileen Nightingale.

Merle Nordyke will be showing some of his photographs at the library through Saturday, Oct. 2. The show is entitled “Wildlife at Legion Park Pond.”


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