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Library director plans service on wheels

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The Roswell Public Library plans to start a bookmobile using state bond money, says Enid Costley, standing. Monica Duran, at table at left, and Bonnie Montgomery, are two of the members of the city of Roswell Commission on Aging attending Thursday’s meeting. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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The director of the Roswell Public Library is planning to start a bookmobile that would travel to various areas within the city to provide reading materials to people who might not otherwise visit the library.

The van and portable book carts likely would be funded using general obligation bond monies already approved for the state’s public libraries, said Enid Costley, head of the Roswell library since November 2017. She talked with people at a Thursday meeting of the city of Roswell Commission on Aging held at the Chaves County JOY Center.

She said the bookmobile also might serve as an internet “hotspot” for areas in the city where internet access is limited. The bookmobile could offer paperbacks on an exchange basis or could use a mobile device to check out books. Some possible stops for the bookmobile might be nursing facilities and summer food program locations. She said an outreach staff member would coordinate the program, and that the position has been made part of budget plans.

She also talked about other new or future library features. Those include changed hours of operation; the decision to allow free use of its community meeting room; “Free Friday Flicks” at 3:30 p.m.; a plan to paint a koi pond in the children’s area as an aesthetic feature and to serve as a math and science learning spot; “Tech Tuesdays” when reference librarians help visitors use their smartphones, iPads or ebook readers; adult programs featuring speakers on a variety of topics; a subscription to the Wall Street Journal that makes the paper available to visitors; and an iPad or computer that will be dedicated to people filling out the Census once surveys go online in 2020.

She also answered questions about the library’s budget for the current fiscal year. She said an unexpected expense related to a change in a database hosting service, as well as increases in insurance and personnel costs, has caused a tight budget this fiscal year. Rather than reduce staff positions, the library has decided to eliminate some of its databases and has turned to the Friends of the Library and the Roswell Public Library Foundation to pay for some activities or programs.

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