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
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.