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March 11, 2009 > Bringing the library to you

Bringing the library to you

By Meenu Gupta
Photos By courtesy of Naomi Maruyama

For those who are not conveniently close to a library or cannot visit a library for any other reason, the bookmobile is the library at your doorstep. Santa Clara County Library Bookmobile provides personalized service to seniors, the physically limited, children, and geographically remote residents. Besides the wide-range of items like magazines, books, videos, CD's, cassettes, and DVD's, CD-ROM's in a variety of languages from Spanish to Russian are also available.

"To get started you just come to one of our stops. All of our stops are open to any member of the public. You can get a library card on your first visit and check materials out" said Karen Apland, Lead Librarian, Bookmobile Service.

If you already have a library card from another Santa Clara County library, like Milpitas Library, that of course will work on the Bookmobile. "All our materials checkout for 2 weeks since we visit all our stops every two weeks," Aplan said.

The materials can also be returned in any other Santa Clara County Library. "When items are requested we try to have them in two weeks when we return to a stop. However, if an item is popular, it may take longer" she clarified.

To place a request by computer, visit the library's webpage at www.santaclaracountylib.org for instructions on how to access the library catalog from home or work. To place a request by phone, please call the Bookmobile Office at (408) 293-2326 extension 3060. Once a requested item becomes available, it will be delivered to the customer's regularly scheduled stop. "If due to a holiday or scheduling problem, we are unable to deliver the item at the regular stop, the item will be mailed at no charge," said Apland.

The Bookmobile serves people who, because of physical condition or location, have a hard time getting to the library. The library serves many senior facilities, some neighborhoods, schools, communities at Lick Observatory and the San Antonio Valley, and the migrant labor camp in Gilroy in the summer.

The mini-library carries books - both regular and large type, books on tape and CD, DVDs, VHS, music CDs, and electronic games (computer, PS2, gamecube and wii) for adults, teens and children.

"We have a staff of four people who work on/drive the Bookmobile. The people whom we serve love the service and they tell us how much they appreciate it all the time," said Apland. For information on Bookmobile, people should call (408) 293-2326 x3060. There is not always someone in the office, so people should leave a message. "We try to get back to people within 24-48 hours," she said.

"At all our stops, we have people waiting for us to come and we do the best we can, within the limitations of the vehicle's space, to meet the recreational, educational and informational needs of our patrons," Aplan said. "The schedule will change in the summer when we will drop the stop. We will post a new schedule mid-May for the summer," Apland explained.

The Bookmobile schedule for Milpitas is Wednesdays, March 11 and 25; April 8 and 22; and May 6 and 20. The times and places are 2:00 - 2:20 p.m. at Pioneer Park, 60 Wilson Way, Milpitas; 2:30 - 3:00 p.m. at Friendly Village Park, 120 Dixon Landing Rd., Milpitas; 3:20 - 4 :00 p.m. at Foothill School, 1191 Landess Ave., Milpitas.

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