KOKOMO, Ind. — Instead of “Move that bus,” the chant was “Move that curtain!” Friday afternoon as enthusiastic schoolchildren helped officials from Kokomo-Howard County Public Library and Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region unveil the library’s new Bookmobile. Kindergarten to third-grade students from the F.D. Reese Christian Academy in Kokomo, joined by library mascot Howard the Bear, did the honors as the two institutions also announced a new partnership that features Ivy Tech as the bookmobile sponsor for the next three years.
“Ivy Tech is excited to support the bookmobile through this unique ‘naming rights’ opportunity with the library,” said Ivy Tech Kokomo Chancellor Steve Daily. “Our community commitment is showcased in the eye-catching and entertaining graphics that cover the new bookmobile. It’s a rolling billboard that will be seen by thousands as it travels around the city and county.”
KHCPL Director Faith Brautigam said, “The Library Board looked at bookmobile sponsorship as a way to increase revenue while providing value to a community partner. We are pleased to announce this partnership with an educational institution whose mission is complementary to our own.”
The unveiling was scheduled during an Ivy Tech staff and faculty meeting at the Kokomo Event & Conference Center to share the excitement with the Ivy Tech family and library guests. The schoolchildren were invited to participate as representatives of all the youngsters served by the library’s bookmobile program.
The new bookmobile, “Discovery II”, joins KHCPL’s “Adventure” bookmobile in carrying library materials to schools, daycare centers, neighborhoods, apartment complexes and senior centers around Howard County. Some interesting statistics about the “Discovery” bookmobile that the new one replaces:
- In 2012, as it moved throughout Howard County, Discovery travelled 4,857 miles, the equivalent of the distance from Kokomo to Florence, Italy.
- In 2012, Discovery welcomed 19,496 visitors, the equivalent of nearly a quarter of Howard County’s total population coming to just one bookmobile. That averages about 1,625 people each month.
- With two-week schedules of Monday-Thursday stops, Discovery visited more than 35 unique places in Howard County. During its last eight-day rotation, Discovery spent almost 40 hours at stops, averaging five hours each day along with up to two hours each day on the road.
“We are excited to be in this partnership with Ivy Tech to help us sustain our valuable Outreach Services program,” said Mary Baker, president of the KHCPL Board of Trustees. “Ivy Tech’s mission of education with a strong community focus is very much in line with that of the Library’s.”
Fellow board member Joe Dunbar added, “The new bookmobile gave the Library another opportunity to share with the community. Not only will the advertising with Ivy Tech benefit the library through additional discretionary funds but it will promote learning opportunities at Ivy Tech. This should be a win-win for both parties.”
“Be on the lookout for Howard the Bear on his safari adventure,” Daily said, referring to the design on the new bookmobile. “Ivy Tech is proud to be onboard for his journeys!”
Schedules for bookmobile stops are available at all KHCPL locations and on the KHCPL website.