Bookmobile takes library on the road

The driver of the Williams County Bookmobile, Wayne Beard, was once a commercial truck driver, but after injuries sustained in the military left him unable to do that job, he found new happiness with the bookmobile.

If you’re blue about not having a book to read while stuck indoors during negative 20 weather this year, the Williston Community Library has a solution for you: The official Williams County Bookmobile has been making its rounds from Williston to Ray and Tioga.

Stocked with everything from young adult fiction books to the classics and historical schoolbooks, the bookmobile, with an easily recognizable orange hue, has something for just about everyone.

The bookmobile is driven by Wayne Beard, who also works doing maintenance at the library.

“I grew up with the bookmobile,” Beard said. “I’m from here, I went to the rural schools. The bookmobile was the only source for getting any information or any books.”

Beard was a truck driver who sustained injuries in the military, rendering him unable to perform certain heavy lifting tasks associated with that job. But driving the bookmobile suits him just fine.

His route takes him to the parts of the county with no other means of getting a book when the weather is nice, let alone with a negative 40 wind chill outside.

“The summer reading program I provide on the bookmobile for the rural kids,” Beard said. “They can’t come into Williston, so we just hold the summer reading program right here on the bookmobile.”

Most of his audience is senior citizens and children, but Beard is starting to see a bit more diversity in the bookmobile’s customers.

“I’m starting to see more of the working class,” he said. “Usually the wives that are homeschooling the children. I’m seeing more in Tioga now that they’ve lost the public library. But a lot of it is families.”

Despite the sparse populations of many of the places Beard travels, he is always busy.

“Just District 8 alone, that’s 1,200 kids,” he said. “Yesterday for just two schools, I moved 1,000 books.”

On Jan. 14, the bookmobile will be traveling on a route containing Quantum Learning, Special Care, Safety First and Shining Star. On Jan. 15, it will be circling the rounds at Care A Lot Daycare, Bethel Home and Prairie View.

For further schedules, contact the Williston Community Library at 701-774-8805 or look them up on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WillistonCommunityLibrary.

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