Bookmobile to end Clark County service

Officials to develop more efficient plans for rural patrons

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter

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The Clark County bookmobile is scheduled to make its last run on June 29.

Fort Vancouver Regional Library District officials said Monday they will develop more efficient options for delivering library services to patrons in rural areas of Clark County.

Bookmobile service will continue in Skamania and Klickitat counties. The vehicle that has served Clark County will be transferred to Skamania County, replacing the Stevenson-based bookmobile that has a much larger route and is in the worst condition of the three bookmobiles.

Library officials also are looking ahead to the time when the Skamania and Klickitat county bookmobiles will be retired, possibly in the next few years. The knowledge the district gets from setting up small-town and rural service alternatives in Clark County will be applied to future planning for rural areas in Skamania and Klickitat counties.

In addition to maintenance problems with the 10-year-old vehicles, bookmobile use has declined over the years.

“Last year, the Clark County bookmobile circulated 24,276 items,” said Sam Wallin, the district’s rural services coordinator. “Our smallest branch is in the 60- to 70,000 circulation range.”

“Today’s households more often include adults who work away from home and aren’t around during the bookmobile’s daytime runs,” Patty Duitman, interim executive director of the library district, said in a news release.

Library officials will continue to work with the partners who currently host Clark County bookmobile stops, including schools and other community agencies, Wallin said.

“There’s always a possibility of that partnership changing or adapting,” Wallin said. “Our hope for north Clark County is that we will still offer good services: just different ones.”