St. Louis County Library announced this week that its new Sweet Reads bookmobile is open for business. The bookmobile began its rounds March 2.
Sweet Reads delivers books and library materials to neighborhoods in and around Spanish Lake. Because the materials are mostly donated or discarded library books, no library card is required and the program operates on an honor system. Half Price Books donated 15,000 books in support of Sweet Reads.
The program began delivering reading material to children in Spanish Lake in 2013 as a way to help prevent loss of reading skills over summer break. Due to the program's popularity, it soon expanded to year-round service, and in 2014, Sweet Reads distributed more than 15,000 books to 3,100 patrons.
"What we found was that people really wanted to read, they only lacked access to the library," said Colleen Hall, manager of Outreach Services at the library. "I found kids so eager they were carrying huge stacks of books away at each visit. I found parents who wanted their children to succeed so much that they were waiting for us in the extreme heat of summer."
The new Sweet Reads bookmobile includes a retractable awning to provide shade during summer months, as well as a wheelchair lift and detachable carts that can be taken outside the bookmobile when weather permits. The new bookmobile replaces two smaller minivans. In the new bookmobile, patrons will be able to browse more than 2,000 books, check their e-mail, search the library's catalog, sign up for a library card, pick up holds and more.
For more information and the Sweet Reads schedule visit slcl.org.