After 17 years of deliveries, through rain, sleet, and snow, down country lanes to the remote regions of the CRRL service area, the CRRL's last bookmobile retires June 30, 2010.
From the very beginnings of the CRRL system, library service has been delivered by bookmobile to the doorsteps of the folks living in the far-flung rural communities we serve. In July 1969, the Library of Virginia opened the Central Rappahannock Regional Library system as a model to demonstrate the value of public library service to the region. The City of Fredericksburg donated the old Lafayette School at 1201 Caroline Street to be the demonstration library facility and the 17,000 volumes that had comprised the Wallace Library collection. The state purchased an additional 29,000 volumes and provided two bookmobiles which traveled to Stafford, Spotsylvania, and Westmoreland Counties, earning the devotion of many people for the new library.
Rural Bookmobile Stop
The CRRL has provided bookmobile service for over 40 years, and many people have become accustomed to the friendly staff as well as the cozy atmosphere of the bookmobile. The bookmobile has provided much treasured library service and there is a great deal of nostalgia associated with its passing. While the people will certainly miss the big blue van lumbering down the road, their fondest recollections will be of the caring, helpful people who represented the CRRL on those many years of bookmobile runs.
From Bookmobile to Lobby Stops - A New Chapter
We have been piloting a new service since January 2009 called Lobby Stops. We are excited about this new transition and are looking forward to continuing to provide award-winning service to our patrons. We still drive out to a residential center or institution, but in this case, Jenny brings browsing materials and requested items inside to the patrons, tailoring our selections to these special audiences. Patrons report that they enjoy not having to go out in the weather and our circulation has been 2-3 times higher in most cases. Lobby Stop service will be provided from a smaller delivery vehicle which will allow us to visit locations that we sometimes can't reach with the 25-foot-long bookmobile. It is also shorter, so we'll no longer have to plan routes to avoid railroad overpasses like we currently do along Brooke Road!