Worcester County Library Introduces New Bookmobile

Worcester County Library Introduces New Bookmobile
Community members had the opportunity to see the new bookmobile outside the Berlin library Wednesday. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

BERLIN– The Worcester County Library celebrated National Bookmobile Day by introducing its own “Pop-Up Library” to the public.

To highlight National Library Week, on Wednesday the Worcester County Library hosted a “Meet the Pop-Up Library” event at the Berlin branch. Community members were able to get a look at the library’s new bookmobile, which hit the road earlier this month.

“We’re just so excited to have it,” Worcester County Library Director Jennifer Ranck said.

The Worcester County Library purchased its first bookmobile in 1960 and provided mobile services until 1982. During the pandemic, particularly when many facilities were closed to the public, library officials found themselves wishing they still had the bookmobile.

“During Covid we were looking for ways to get out into the community,” Ranck said. “We thought wouldn’t it be great if we had a vehicle.”

While finding funding and dealing with supply chain issues took some time, the library was able to purchase a bookmobile for roughly $160,000. The vehicle first appeared to the public April 1 at Furnace Town’s opening day celebration.

“People were really excited to see it,” Ranck said.


Worcester County Library and local officials are pictured in front of the bookmobile.

The bookmobile, which features pop-up panels on both sides, has space for 700 to 1,000 books. Currently, it’s filled with a variety of items, including books for children and adults as well as DVDs. Those who don’t yet have a library card can apply for one right at the vehicle, which also features Wi-Fi and printing capabilities.

In its first few weeks, the bookmobile has visited local childcare centers and long-term care facilities. It will visit local schools during special events and expand programming by bringing programs into the community.

“We had a bookmobile from 1960 to 1982,” Ranck said. “It feels full circle to bring it back.”

The Worcester County Pop-Up Library project was funded in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the Maryland State Library Agency. Funding was also provided by the Worcester County Commissioners and the Worcester County Library Foundation.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.