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South Brunswick Bookmobile Needs New Driver – Bids Farewell to Mr. Mike

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 was National Bookmobile Day, and on this occasion, the South Brunswick Public Library is happy to share some big news about our Bookmobile service. 

 

While the SBPL bookmobile has been off-road since March it is hoped that it will be back in action by early May. A replacement engine and repairs are needed and the costs will be significant.

 

Meanwhile, the library’s longtime bookmobile driver Mike Birnberg will be retiring June 1 after more than 25 years of service. Rain, sun, sleet and snow, Mike has become as familiar as a next door neighbor to thousands of South Brunswick citizens, big and small.

  

“It will take a special kind of person to drive the Library’s Bookmobile,” says Library Director Chris Carbone, adding that he will be seeking to fill Mike’s position.

 

As bookmobile operator, “Mr. Mike” has checked out items for patrons from all parts of the Township.  Idling the converted 44-foot-long bus at neighborhood cross streets, preschools, swim clubs, senior housing, and other various parking lots around town, he has helped students find books for school assignments, senior citizens get the new mystery novel they’ve wanted, teens and adults choose a popular movie or CD. 

 

The bookmobile serves residents throughout the Township at 49 unique stops throughout the year.  This includes 11 nursery schools, the Senior Center, low-income or subsidized housing developments and general neighborhoods.  The service has been a staple for 37 years.

 

While the Library has changed dramatically since bookmobile service began, key factors remain the same.  The Township is quite large at 41 square miles.  There is no means of public transportation to the Library.  Additionally, the population has grown significantly, including the number of children, seniors and others without transportation.

   

The SBPL Foundation has pledged $5,000 towards the cost of the repairs.  The Noor-Ul-Iman school, part of the Islamic Society of Central Jersey, has pledged an additional $2,000 towards repair costs.  Additional donations are being sought and the Trustees will pay the balance. 

 

Anyone in the community interested in making a donation to support the Bookmobile Outreach Service, please contact Library Director Chris Carbone at 732-329-4000, ext. 7287.

 

The Library is currently seeking a part-time bookmobile driver. For more information, visit www.sbpl.info.


 

 

 

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Cathleen DiBenedetto April 22, 2014 at 06:18 AM
Mike the bookmobile bus driver is truly one of a kind... He shoes will be very hard to fill....He really looked out for his senior friends.....I know this because my aunt was a person who he took care of...She lived in Oak Woods Senior housing on Rt. 522 and Mike was there no matter what the weather..When my aunt passed away this year in Jan.. I was cleaning out her apt and had to run out to get more trash bags...when I arrived back at Oak Woods I noticed the bookmobile was there...something told me to go over to it and I did...Mike was sitting there waiting for my aunt...He had come a few days before and noticed she hadn't come down...Then when he came that day he was worried about her....When I told him of my aunts passing he was really sad..He only had wonderful things to say about her...He was an angel to her and all the people he serves...He really cares for the people he sees...The Family of Cathleen McCarthy wishes him much health and happiness in his retirement ...

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