Mobile library unveiled in Goddard

Board members and staffers at the Goddard Public Library celebrate the ribbon cutting for the new Goddard Mobile Library. The converted RV was debuted on Oct. 17. The new Goddard Mobile Library – with books, computers, wi-fi and more – will help the library serve an area covering 65 square miles. Subscribers can see more photos online at Pictured by Travis Mounts, TSnews

By Travis Mounts, TSnews

GODDARD – On Oct. 17, the Goddard Public Library officially unveiled its new mobile library. The converted recreational vehicle will help the library expand its outreach.
“We do a ton of outreach in the area,” said library director April Hernandez.
The library does outreach activities through the Goddard School District, not just in the city itself. Hernandez said the mobile library will make it much easier to perform those services. The library has loads of crates and other items that previously needed to be loaded and unloaded for each event. Staff members thought it would be good to have a dedicated vehicle.
The library was able to secure a $25,000 grant through the Kansas State Library for the purchase of a vehicle.
“Literally once we found out about the grant, we learned about an RV for sale. It fell into our lap,” Hernandez said.
The vehicle is a 2006 RV with fewer than 20,000 miles. The library had it gutted inside. The work took some time, but library staff feel the time was worth it.
The grant did not include the interior work. Significant donations from the Goddard Lions Club and Mel Hambelton Ford helped cover some of the costs of the work. Lauer Service in Clearwater donated the interior work. Walmart in Goddard and the Goddard Woman’s Club also made donations.
“We’ve been lucky to have a bunch of people support us,” Hernandez said.
The library had the vehicle at Goddard’s National Night Out event, but it still looked like an RV one would see at a campground. The bright blue wrap was added in late September.
The community also saw the new mobile library at the Goddard Fall Festival. It was in the parade on Saturday morning, and at the story walk on Sunday.
Hernandez said the mobile library will open doors for the library’s outreach efforts. They want to have many regular stops in neighborhoods in Goddard and in the school district. In addition to books, patrons will be able to access wi-fi internet, computer and printing services, and notary services.
Hernandez believes this will be the first mobile library in the Wichita area, although she thought the Wichita Public Library had one about a decade ago. The Wichita library has acquired a vehicle for its own mobile service, and she said it should be ready next summer.
For now, however, the Goddard Public Library is setting trends in this part of Kansas.