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Johnson City bookmobile hits the streets, encouraging summer reading

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BOOKMOBILE PIC

JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) -- You may not see any school buses on the roads during the summer, but you will see the Johnson City bookmobile.

"The bookmobile is a transformed bus that we've had running around to different locations in Johnson City throughout the last eight years," said Elementary Reading Teacher and Book Mobile Organizer Bethany Earl.

It's basically a library on wheels for kids in the district.

"They come on, they check a book out just like they would at the library, but there's no card or anything like that, no due dates, and then they can return it the following week or whenever they make the chance to getting back on the bus," said Earl.

Earl says it's important to give kids access to books while they're out of school.

"It helps kids find authors or series that they may not have been able to read during the school year. Also, it's really a time of just pure enjoyment and that love of reading, but also continuing to work on everything they've learned during the school year," she said.

The bookmobile holds a little more importance this summer.

Since students ended the school year virtually, they may not have held any actual book in months.

"I think kids have a lot of time, especially with the closure, they were doing a lot of electronic reading, and there's just something tangible about holding that book in your hand and connecting with those pages," said Earl.

Due to the pandemic, the bookmobile is operating a little differently.

"Two kids on the bus at a time to help provide for distancing, books are being cleaned before they go back on the shelves, requiring masks, also we have hand sanitizer to put on before you get on the bus and also when you leave the bus," said Earl.

It runs every Tuesday until August 25 and makes stops at several locations around Johnson City.

Here's the book mobile's schedule at each location:

  • Greens Field - Northside Park: 10 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
  • Johnson City Senior Center: 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Floral Ave Park: 12:45 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Annie Flaherty

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