Hit the road and crack a book: New Bookmobile drives into the Arrowhead

MOUNTAIN IRON —- The Arrowhead Library System (ALS) has welcomed a new Bookmobile.

The library on wheels is a resource vehicle that provides library services to residents who live in communities without a traditional library. The Bookmobile travels throughout the region and is available for all ALS patrons.

Jim Weikum, executive director of the Arrowhead Library System, said he is excited to welcome the new Bookmobile, which is replacing an older vehicle. Since the 1980s, explained Weikum, ALS has had the same style of vehicle for its Bookmobile — one with a truck cab and chassis with a customized mounted box.

The most recent vehicle was manufactured by Ohio Bus Sales and featured a Ford truck. It was delivered to ALS in 2007. The new vehicle was manufactured by Farber Specialty Vehicles and has an International truck.

ALS requested changes to the design in hopes of combating exhaust issues experienced in the last vehicle. Although these changes will go largely unnoticed by the public, they will notice the new look. Not only will there be a noticeable lack of rust, but new artwork decorates the outside walls of the mobile library.

“The biggest difference is that the old truck was at the edge of its usable lifespan and was pretty rusted out,” Weikum said. “The old truck had wood shelving which is very attractive, and also very heavy. The new truck features aluminum shelving. The exterior graphics were largely designed by the graphic artist on our staff, Brian Minor, and feature a couple of scenes from northeastern Minnesota.”

Where the old Bookmobile’s outside art was green, the new design is mainly blue.

“Because it is new, we expect far fewer mechanical issues — resulting in consistent reliability in terms of serving our customers,” Weikum added. “The staff on our Bookmobile have done a remarkable job of keeping the current truck operational.”

The total cost for the new vehicle will be about $250,000 which includes the International truck and additional telecommunications equipment. This technology will ensure that staff will have reliable internet connections for checking materials in and out, no matter where they are on their route.

The Bookmobile and Mail-A-Book services don’t collect overdue fines, so the funding came from reserves that we have been setting aside since the purchase of the last vehicle.”

Now, the new Bookmobile has hit the road and is cruising the route.

After it arrived in Mountain Iron at the ALS office, the telecommunication equipment was installed and the collection of library material was moved from the old vehicle into the new one. In order to not interrupt the route schedule, the materials were moved over a weekend when the Bookmobile was not in service.

Materials available on the Bookmobile include: adult and children’s books, large print books, DVDs and Blu-rays, book on CD and MP3, music CDs and video games. Other items can be requested through Interlibrary Loan.

The Bookmobile also offers reading programs commonly found at traditional libraries. For example, there is a youth summer reading program being offered June 10 through Aug. 29.

There are four regular members of the Bookmobile staff: Sophia, Ted, Beth and Jim. They are always sent out in teams of two, including a driver and either the Bookmobile Coordinator or the Bookmobile Clerk.

“Anybody with a valid ALS library card is free to stop in and use the Bookmobile,” Weikum said. “We can also accept valid library cards from other Minnesota public libraries if people are seasonal residents up here.”

The Bookmobile operates Monday-Thursday on a three-week rotating schedule. They have 60+ stops across the counties of St. Louis, Koochiching, Itasca, and Carlton.

More information on the Bookmobile and other services offered by the Arrowhead Library System, including a full Bookmobile schedule, can be found at www.alslib.info or by calling 218-741-3840.

Bookmobile Route Schedule for 2019

Week A

Mondays:June 3, 24; July 15; Aug. 5, 26; Sept. 16; Oct. 7, 28; Nov. 18; Dec. 9, 30

Brookston - Pines Board & Lodge 8:45 - 9:15

Esko - Northwood United Methodist Church 10:00 - 10:30

Wrenshall - Silver Brook Town Hall 11:05 - 11:40

Kettle River - Main Street 1:10 - 2:00

Tuesdays: June 4, 25; July 16; Aug. 6, 27; Sept. 17; Oct. 8, 29; Nov. 19; Dec. 10, 31

Cotton - Wilbert's Cafe 9:45 - 10:45

Canyon - Fire Hall 11:15 - 11:45

Meadowlands - Victory Coffee-Main Street 1:00 - 2:30

Alborn - Sno-Devils Club 3:00 - 3:30

Colonial House #2 - Nygaard Road 4:15 - 4:45

Iron - Crossroads 6:30 - 7:15

Wednesdays: June 5, 26; July 17; Aug. 7, 28; Sept. 18; Oct. 9, 30; Nov. 20, Dec. 11

Ely Lake - Shortstop 10:30 - 11:00

Loon Lake Community Ctr. - Hwy. 100 11:45 - 12:15

Markham - Colvin Town Hall 1:00 - 1:45

Biwabik - Main Street 2:30 - 3:45

Embarrass - Timber Hall 4:30 - 5:15

Thursdays: June 6, 27; July 18; Aug. 8, 29; Sept. 19; Oct. 10, 31; Nov. 21; Dec. 12

Nett Lake - Community Center 9:30 - 10:15

Crane Lake - Ranger Station 11:15 - 12:00

Orr - Lake Country Re Max building 1:45 - 2:30

Kabetogama - “Town” Hall 3:15 - 3:45

Week B

Mondays: June 10; July 1, 22; Aug. 12; Sept. 23; Oct. 14; Nov. 4, 25; Dec. 16

Littlefork - Jackpine Chateau 9:30 - 10:00

Big Falls - Sunview Apartments 10:40 - 11:20

Gemmell - Gemmell Community Church 12:30 - 1:00

Mizpah - Post Office 1:15 - 1:45

Northome - Apartment Complex 2:15 - 3:00

Alvwood - Hoot-N-Holler 3:45 - 4:45

Squaw Lake - Community Center 5:00 - 6:30

Tuesdays: June 11; July 2, 23; Aug. 13; Sept. 3, 24; Oct. 15; Nov. 5, 26; Dec. 17

Hwy. 46 - Gosh Dam Place 9:45 - 10:15

Spring Lake - Store 11:15 - 11:45

Bowstring - Bowstring Store 1:15 - 2:00

Talmoon - Hayslip's Corner 2:15 - 3:00

Effie - Effie Cafe 4:00 - 4:30

Bigfork - City Hall 4:45 - 5:45

Balsam - Balsam Store 6:45 - 7:15

Wednesdays: June 12; July 3, 24; Aug. 14; Sept. 4, 25; Oct. 16; Nov. 6, 27; Dec. 18

Trout Lake - Community Center 9:00 - 9:30

Deer River - City Offices 10:30 - 11:00

Taconite - Community Center 12:30 - 1:00

Goodland - Fred's Station 1:30 - 2:15

Swan Lake - Indian Point Resort 2:45 - 3:45

Pengilly - Post Office Vicinity 4:00 - 5:00

Nashwauk - High School 6:00 - 7:00

Thursdays: June 13; July 25; Aug. 15; Sept. 5, 26; Oct. 17; Nov. 7; Dec. 19

Cloverdale - Guyers' Store 9:45 - 10:45

Togo - Junction Bar & Grill 11:45 - 12:45

Rauch - Highway 65 – Christiansen’s Store 2:30 - 3:00

Bear River - Viking Bar 4:15 - 5:00

Side Lake - Community Building 5:30 - 6:30

Week C

Mondays: June 17; July 8, 29; Aug. 19; Sept. 9, 30; Oct. 21; Nov. 11; Dec. 2, 23

Twig - Town Hall 9:30 - 10:00

Pike Lake - Dairy Queen 10:30 - 11:30

Hermantown - Do North Pizzeria -

Highway 53 & LaVaque Road 12:15 - 12:45

Fredenberg - Community Center 1:15 - 1:45

Pequaywan - Pequaywan Inn Resort 2:30 - 3:00

North Shore - Clearwater Grille (Nov-April) 4:45 - 5:30

McQuade Small Craft Harbor (May-October)

Tuesdays: June 18; July 9, 30; Aug. 20; Sept. 10; Oct. 1, 22; Nov. 12; Dec. 3

Floodwood - Travel Information Center 10:00 - 12:00

Wright - School 1:15 - 1:45

Cromwell - City Park-Highway 210 2:00 - 2:45

Mahtowa - TJ’s Store 3:45 - 4:30

Barnum - High School 5:00 - 5:45

Wednesdays: June 19; July 10, 31; Aug. 21; Sept. 11; Oct. 2, 23; Nov. 13; Dec. 4

Britt - Shortstop 9:00 - 9:45

Bois Forte - Boys & Girls Club 11:00 - 11:30

Lake Vermilion - Greenwood Town Hall 12:00 - 12:30

Soudan - Surface Building 1:45 - 3:00

Tower - Civic Center 3:15 - 4:15

Embarrass - Four Corners 5:15 - 6:00

Thursdays: June 20; July 11; Aug. 1, 22; Sept. 12; Oct. 3, 24; Nov. 14; Dec 5, 26

Lake Venoah - Boarding Home 10:30 - 12:00

Proctor - Proctor Area Community Center 1:30 - 2:45

Solway Town Hall - Munger Shaw Road 3:00 - 3:45

Hermantown - Kenwood Auto Center 4:15 - 5:00

Hermantown Schools Admin. Bldg.

- Ugstad & Arrowhead Road 6:00 - 7:00

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