A Driving Force in Early Literacy

VBPL’s bookmobile is devoted exclusively to early literacy outreach, offering a library-like experience on wheels that introduces children to the joy of reading and the possibilities that come with checking out books. Visiting local preschools and daycare centers, VBPL staff provide teacher trainings and curriculum-based storytime classes for children to help them build skills needed for kindergarten success.

However, the bookmobile is aging. It’s also the size of a city bus, which makes it difficult to drive in compact areas and requires a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to operate. The Foundation seeks to acquire a more versatile vehicle to sustain and increase the library’s reach in the community.

First-of-its-kind Bookmobile

The proposed vehicle is smaller, but will retain the programming space that makes VBPL’s bookmobile a “classroom on wheels.” 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 CDL, more staff can drive it. This will allow VBPL to sustain and even expand its youth outreach services in order to serve a more diverse and broader audience and deliver a wider variety of outreach programs and services.

The Foundation received overwhelming support from the community for the new bookmobile and donated $124,449 to the City of Virginia Beach for the purchase of the new vehicle. These funds came from generous individuals, the Foundation’s endowment, and grants from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, the Towne Bank Foundation, the Cooke Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, and Queen of Virginia Skill and Entertainment. The City contributed an additional $91,000 to the project, and is currently in the process of purchasing the new bookmobile. Because it is a fully customized, one-of-a-kind vehicle, VBPL’s new bookmobile will be on the road at a future date.

Get on board!

Want to get on board and help us increase early literacy education in Virginia Beach? The bookmobile may be funded but VBPL is always updating and adding to the resources used by staff members in storytime programs. Donate online, in person at your VBPL branch, or mail a check with “Bookmobile” in the memo line to the Virginia Beach Library Foundation, 2416 Courthouse Drive Bldg. 19, Virginia Beach, VA 23456.