The Ypsilanti District Library’s Bookmobile made its return back to Ypsilanti neighborhoods on Nov. 8.
The Bookmobile first arrived in Ypsilanti in 2008. Sam Killian, the community relations coordinator at the Ypsilanti District Library describes the bookmobile as “basically a library on wheels.”
It is a modified camper that carries over 3,000 books, movies, CDs, and magazines to bring the library to people of all ages who are otherwise unable to access a library building. It makes an average of 90 stops and circulates over 1,800 items per month.
“The idea is that we can take the library to you,” Killian said. “When people cannot make it out to one of our three branches, we have stops all around our service area. Right now… We have limited stops, but people can reserve materials ahead of time. Essentially, we want it to be more accessible with more people experiencing the library wherever they’re located.”
The Bookmobile operates Monday through Thursday at multiple locations across Ypsilanti; the full schedule is available on the library’s website. The Bookmobile’s Monday stops include:
- 4:00 – 4:20 p.m. at Perry School
- 4:35 – 4:55 p.m. at Forrest Knoll Apartments
- 5:10 – 5:30 p.m. at Chapelle School
- 6:05 – 6:25 p.m. at Burns Park
- 6:40 – 7:00 p.m. at Colony Way
The Bookmobile was off the road for two different periods of time. The first was the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. However, after the Bookmobile was back on the road it had to go through another closure because of the staffing and supply-chain issues exacerbated by the pandemic. Throughout its closures the personal connection between the Bookmobile drivers and the people they serve still prevailed.
“The Bookmobile, because it’s smaller and there are fewer drivers, the people on the routes are working with the same people a lot,“ Killian said. "So, on a personal note, we were missing people as much as I think they were missing us because of the very personal interaction with the bookmobile.”
As per the Bookmobiles COVID protocols, it will only be offering curbside pickup. To reserve an item, place a hold online or contact a staff member at (734) 482-4110, x6. The library asks visitors to make their material requests two days before pickup.