On the Road

Lompoc bookmobile helping kids read throughout the city

Books available in mobile children's library

Lompoc bookmobile helping kids read throughout the city

LOMPOC, Calif. - The Lompoc bookmobile recently celebrated its third anniversary.

Created in 2016, the 31-foot-long vehicle is a rolling library intended to provide important educational opportunities for kids in need.

"The purpose to go to children who can't go to the library," said ​​​​​Rachell Frazian, Lompoc Youth Services Librarian and Bookmobile Manager. "They're not in walking distance. They don't have transportation to the library, so we go anywhere there are kids who need access to the library and can't get there."

The colorful truck is officially named the Charlotte's Web Mobile Children's Library.

It was named after Charlotte Benton, who was the first woman to serve as Lompoc mayor.

Benton died in 2005. Several years earlier, she formed a trust to fund a children's library, which eventually led to the creation of the bookmobile.

"We go to after-school programs," said Frazian. "We also go to homeless shelters. We also go to low income housing complexes and we also go to different neighborhoods where we have public stops where the kids can come on board."

The mobile library is targeted for kids ages 5-to-12-years-old.

"They're really excited it," said Frazian. "They love it. They come in and we have things for every interest, so if they're interested in fantasy. If they're interested in history. If they're interested in sports, we have a bilingual collection as well, that includes English and Spanish, as well as just Spanish. They kids just come in and find something that they really love to read and then they take it home."

The bookmobile is able to attend events that are free to attend.

Since it's part of the library system, it cannot participate in events where there is an admission charge.

Frazian said the main purpose of the bookmobile is to encourage kids to read and to build their skills.

"One of the things that I try to do is have a really accessible collection, have stuff that they'er interested in, have stuff doesn't look like it's going to challenge them too much and then once they get into it, they start working towards larger and bigger books," said Frazian. 

Inside the bookmobile, kids are able to choose from about 2,000 books.

Frazian said one of her main goals is to make sure there is a book for everyone.

"We have children of all skin colors that come aboard and I try to make sure that we have a collection that reflects that, so that way everybody is included and if you look around at the books, you'll see that I have all different cultures represented," said Frazian. 

Children are able to check out books whether or not they have a library card.

While most of the books require an official card to check out, there is also a large assortment of books that are called "honor books."

"They can check those out until they get a library card," said Frazian. "They take a form home and they have their parents sign it and they bring the form back and then we can give them a library card."

Since the bookmobile program is funding through Benton's estate, its not impacted by the budget issues currently being debated by city government.

For more information about Charlotte's Web Mobile Children's Library, visit www.cityoflompoc/library


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