Virginia Beach Library Foundation Celebrates Bookmobile Day with a $60,000 Grant for New Vehicle

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

​The Virginia Beach Library Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that raises funds in support of Virginia Beach Public Library programs and services for the community, 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 Virginia Beach. The announcement coincides with National Bookmobile Day and Library Giving Day, which both fall on April 10, 2019.

Devoted exclusively to early literacy outreach, Virginia Beach Public Library's bookmobile offers a library-like experience on wheels, introducing preschoolers to the joy of reading and the possibilities that come with checking out books. During visits to preschools and daycare centers, VBPL staff deliver books, provide teacher trainings and curriculum-based storytime classes to help children build skills needed for kindergarten success.

"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."  

First-of-its-kind Bookmobile
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.

Including the $60,000 grant from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation and funding provided by TowneBank Foundation and Queen of Virginia Skill and Entertainment, the Virginia Beach Library Foundation has raised nearly half of the estimated $210,000 required to build and equip the new bookmobile. Community members and organizations interested in supporting early literacy education in Virginia Beach may donate online at www.vblibraryfoundation.org. For more about the Virginia Beach Library Foundation, contact Development Specialist Kelly Weber-Stefonowich, KWeberStefonowich@vbgov.com or (757) 385-8128.

About Virginia Beach Public Library
Virginia Beach Public Library includes a central library, a joint-use library in partnership with Tidewater Community College, seven area libraries and a public law library. Services include workforce development and job-search support, small business resources, computer and technology classes, early literacy classes and outreach, and local history archives and programs. In addition to books, music, magazines and movies in tangible and digital formats, the library provides online research tools accessible from home or work, and a variety of specialty collections. Visit www.VBgov.com/libraries for more information.

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