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Picture of Bookmobile

For Immediate Release:     May 19, 2016
Information:                     Joy Testa Cinquino, Assistant Deputy Director

“Library on Wheels” New Bookmobile Unveiled

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library’s State-of-the-Art Bookmobile to Reach Areas of the County without Library Service

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, New York State Senator Timothy M. Kennedy, and other local leaders joined members of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library earlier today for a grand unveiling of the new, high-tech, bookmobile “Library on Wheels.”  Outfitted with a collection of approximately 3,000 books and DVDs, a WiFi hotspot, laptop computers and more, the ADA-compliant bookmobile will make regular stops to cities, towns and rural locations, to community centers and town halls, as well as to special events such as those at Canalside.  

“We are so excited to get our new, customized bookmobile on the road,” said Library Director Mary Jean Jakubowski.  “And, we are most grateful to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and the Erie County Legislature for approving the capital funds which allowed us to purchase this vehicle.  Our plans are to be wherever our residents need us to be, particularly in communities that do not have physical libraries and in areas that do not have easy access to transportation to take advantage of all of the free services and resources libraries provide.”

“This new bookmobile is state of the art and will bring much more than books to Erie County residents.  It is a mobile information center that has the latest technology, educational and recreational offerings, and other services that modern library users demand.  This ‘Library on Wheels’ is an investment in our Library System that will provide enjoyment and utility far into the future,” stated Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. 

Bookmobiles in Erie County have a proud history beginning in 1947 and running through 2004/2005 when budget cuts forced an end to the Library System’s mobile services.  

The brightly designed “Library on Wheels” will be on the road later this month (see attached schedule) and already has a number of recurring dates planned for communities that do not have a physical public library such as Brant and Sardinia.  Individuals or organizations interested in securing the bookmobile should contact the Library at

Fun Facts about “Library on Wheels” Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Bookmobile

·         The bookmobile is expected to be on the road year-round. Organizations interested in learning more details or requesting a bookmobile onetime or recurring stop should call 716-858-7157 or visit the Library System website at: http://www.buffalolib.org/content/bookmobile-visit-request-form.

·         The “Library on Wheels” will serve the local community, including neighborhoods without a nearby Library or those with limited public transportation.  Visits throughout the region will include town centers, fire halls, day camps, festivals, and special community events. In the fall, there will be additional stops at senior centers.

·         Like a traditional library, the “Library on Wheels” offers borrowing and returning of materials, access to downloadable books and music, programming, and the ability for updating one’s library account.

·         Library cards will be available on the bookmobile. (A valid form of ID & proof of address is necessary.)

·         The vehicle will carry approximately 3,000 reading and informational materials – including all ages – fiction, nonfiction, audiobooks, DVDs, graphic novels, picture books and chapter books.

·         There will be up to 12 laptop computers available for use.

·         The exterior wrap design of colorful green, purple and orange dots was created by Library Display Artist, Dawn Stanton.

·         The people featured on the graphic image wrap are actual Buffalo & Erie County Public Library patrons.

·         The bookmobile was custom-made based on Buffalo & Erie County Public Library specifications. The Request for Bid (RFB) was issued for submissions in April, 2015. 

·         Weather permitting; the bookmobile awning opens for programming and casual seating.

·         The vehicle measures 30 feet long and weighs 19,180 pounds (without books & other materials in it).

·         Sixty (60) gallons of diesel fuel will fill up the vehicle.

·         Bookmobile service, which began in Erie County in 1947, was curtailed in 2004/2005 when the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library took all mobile services off the road.  This was due to drastic cuts in the Library System budget which also resulted in closed libraries, and reduction in staff and open hours.

·         Bookmobiles have been in service in the US for more than 100 years.  According to the American Library Association, there are over 930 bookmobiles in the United States.