The Library2Go Bookmobile Program

The Library2Go Bookmobile Program

The Library2Go Bookmobile Program

by Steve Gamel

Deep down, Kelly Born always knew there was a better way to get more books into the hands of children who, for one reason or another, don’t have access to them during the summer. But like all grand ideas, you have to start somewhere.

For Born and other librarians in the Denton Independent School District, that has meant using their personal time each summer to load up their vehicles with donated books and distribute them in neighborhoods of higher need. It hasn’t been an ideal situation, and there were hiccups along the way, but the goal has always been the same.

“We just want books in the hands of children,” Born said. “All of us as librarians and teachers recognized we have all these children in our schools who don’t have access to books over the summer. So some of us have done our own thing.”

That hard work paid off recently when Denton ISD announced the fledgling initiative was getting a significant upgrade in the form of what is now a district-wide program called the Library2Go Bookmobile. Under this new program, which kicked off June 4 and is expected to run all summer, the district has a bus and driver that librarians will use to transport their growing collection of books and, hopefully, reach more children.

A few years ago, Born said several teachers attended an outside conference and heard of the bookmobile concept. They eagerly wanted one of their own, and Born said it took the entire district banding together to finally make it happen.

Born said the bus could hold roughly 2,000 books, which are being donated by book vendors, parents, book drives, and through other means. During the first year, it will operate two days each week throughout the summer and will make two stops in each high school feeder zone. Locations could be anywhere from school parking lots to nearby churches, parks, and commercial businesses like Walmart – wherever the district feels will be a natural access point for families.

The hope is that more days of operation and stops will be added each year.

“People have been donating books out the wazoo, and it’s crazy to see how quickly this has grown,” Born said. “While the bus can hold 2,000 books, we know we need 5-6,000 books, and we are getting closer to that every day. It really has been a huge collaborative effort, and it’s nice to see everything coming together like it has.”

As previously mentioned, the bookmobile is the district’s answer to studies that consistently show students who do not read during the summer months lose core reading skills and fall behind when they return to school. Conversely, those who read four to five books over the summer achieve a positive impact comparable to enrolling in summer school.

Recent numbers show 43 percent of Denton ISD students live outside the city limits and have little to no access to a public library over the summer. Therefore, they must pay $50 annually to use the Denton Public Library. Transportation and access to a free
public library can be an obstacle for these families. The bookmobile provides them with quality reading material throughout the summer to prevent the loss of reading skills.

“I can’t help but think, ‘What if we had a bus for each zone someday?’” Born said. “We have this grand idea, but you have to start somewhere, and this is where we are right now. It’s exciting; that’s for sure.”

For information on the bookmobile, visit

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