VIRGINIA BEACH — The Library Foundation here has secured a $60,000 grant from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation toward the purchase of a new, more versatile bookmobile to sustain and increase the library’s reach in the city, officials said in a news release.
The city library’s bookmobile offers a library-like experience on wheels, introducing preschoolers to the job of reading and the possibilities that come with checking out books.
The $60,000 grant, combined with gifts for individual donors and grants from TowneBank and Queen of Virginia Skills and Entertainment, puts the library nearly halfway to its $210,000 goal, library officials wrote in a Facebook post.
“Virginia Beach Public Library’s early literacy outreach service is crucial for reaching children who might not otherwise be able to visit the library and benefit from early literacy programming,” said Eva Poole, director of libraries and executive director of the Virginia Beach Library Foundation. “Our bookmobile has served our community well, but it’s aging, and its large size, comparable to a city bus, prevents us from reaching children in buildings with smaller footprints. We’re grateful to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation for granting funding to the Virginia Beach Library Foundation to secure a new vehicle.”
The proposed bookmobile is smaller but will retain the programming space that provides a library-like experience.
It will fit into more preschool parking lots and have built-in technology that allows for innovative, interactive programming.
Because it does not require a commercial driver’s license as the larger vehicle did, more staff can drive it, enabling VBPL to expand outreach services to more audiences, officials said.
Community members and organizations interested in supporting early literacy education in Virginia Beach may donate online here.
For more about the Virginia Beach Library Foundation, contact Development Specialist Kelly Weber-Stefonowich, KWeberStefonowich@vbgov.com or 757-385-8128.