The Nampa Public Library is pleased to announce they have been awarded $208,800 to purchase Nampa’s first bookmobile, dedicated bookmobile collection, and technology.
The grant was awarded by the Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL) with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). ICfL has allotted over $1 million in ARPA funds to Idaho libraries to establish the “Libraries Keep Students Learning and Adults Earning/ARPA Grant.” No tax dollars will be spent to purchase the bookmobile.
To achieve the American Rescue Plan Act’s purposes with respect to State Library Agencies (SLAs), this funding is to be used in helping communities respond directly and immediately to the pandemic, as well as to related economic and community needs through equitable approaches.
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, when the Library Foundation began raising funds again with hopes of generating enough money for a bookmobile within one to two years. Due to this generous grant, the bookmobile will become a reality in Nampa much earlier 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 provide a platform for communication and will strengthen access to City services at its stops around Nampa. It will be stocked with approximately 3,000 items.
Nampa Library Director Claire Connley said, “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.”
Not a full-size bus, 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. Garage space for a bookmobile was included in the Downtown Parking Garage which was completed in 2015.
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 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.