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The NCW Libraries Bookmobile is rolling into new territory this summer!

Over the past year, our staff has been aligning our Community Bookmobile services with our first Strategic Direction: Meet Critical Community Needs. We are prioritizing bringing library service to some of the most underserved and vulnerable populations in our region.

Starting in June, the mobile library began visiting the Wenatchee Rescue Mission, a low-barrier homeless shelter in Wenatchee, and the Sage Bluff migrant farmworker camp in Malaga. Many of the people we are engaging with in these locations are experiencing unstable or temporary housing, which can limit access to library cards. In an effort to overcome that barrier, we began offering a limited-use library card that allows people to access a limited selection of library materials and services without providing proof of a permanent address. 

“These are communities of people who often feel outcast or stigmatized,” said MaryLou Guerrero, Rural Services Manager. “The limited-use library card has really opened a door. We are now going into their space and telling them they can be part of the library, that the library is for them too. And they are welcoming us. It’s such a great feeling.”

The Bookmobile is making 20 community stops in Chelan, Douglas and Grant counties this summer. The stops are generally in remote areas that are miles from the nearest library. Places like Desert Aire, Beverly, and Crescent Bar in Grant County; Plain, Chumstick and Valley Hi in Chelan County; and the Lone Pine Fruit stand north of Orondo in Douglas County.

In addition to the public stops, the bookmobile also makes regular visits or deliveries to senior homes, the Wenatchee Valley Senior Center, a day care for adults with special needs, a Job Corps site, and a home for people undergoing cancer treatment. 

“We are exploring new territory, looking at how we can best serve rural locations and our underserved populations,” Guerrero said. “We want to utilize the Bookmobile in the best and most efficient way we can.”

One of the newly added community stops is in Beverly, a rural and impoverished community in Grant County. People who have never visited an NCW Libraries branch — or even thought that they could — are getting library cards.

“We’ve talked with people who thought they couldn’t use the library because they didn’t have the proper documents,” said Elizabeth McNall, Bookmobile Lead. “We are telling them that if they live here, they can be part of the library. To be able to tell people that, yes, the library is for you too, is very gratifying.”


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