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Bookmobile’s half-century of service could come to an end with Tuesday

By Jessica Dryden
Oct. 5, 2016

Community members are scrambling to find support for their bookmobile — the library-on-wheels that has been serving rural Cache County for the past 50 years.

The Cache County Council will meet Tuesday to determine the bookmobile’s fate. With annual costs as much as $98,000, county executive Craig Buttars isn’t sure the county can afford the service anymore.

“I am recommending that the funding for the bookmobile be discontinued because the offerings of the bookmobile are a duplication of services in many ways,” Buttars wrote in an e-mail.

He wrote that the money saved would go toward “essential county services such as roads, fire and law enforcement.”

A Facebook page entitled “Save the Rich/Cache Bookmobile” has been created by the Cache Valley Library Association in an effort to garner support and awareness within the community. The page’s creators are urging community members to contact county council members and voice their concern over the possible loss of the bookmobile.

Among those who will be fighting to keep the bookmobile is 7-year-old Allie Norris.

“I like the bookmobile because I can go pick out new books to read with my brothers and sister,” said Norris, who lives in Millville. “My parents don't have to stop working to drive me to the library. I would be really sad if they stopped having the bookmobile.”

The bookmobile’s route takes it to 41 different stops in 25 communities.

Almost all of these communities do not have a formal library.

“It’s important that any citizen in a democracy have direct access to resources,” said Donna Jones Morris, the Utah state librarian.

Shawn Bliss, the bookmobile librarian and driver, argued that the end of the program would mean greater costs for Cache and Rich county families as well as fees for using a neighboring community library.

“This wouldn't be equitable for everyone,” Bliss said.

The meeting will be held Tuesday at the Cache County courthouse at 5 p.m.