Bookmobile shelved - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bookmobile shelved

March 4, 2003

It's lined with books, filled with gas, and ready to go. But the bookmobile that serves Tift and four surrounding counties hasn't left the garage in months.

"That's access to books people would have won't have now," Coastal Plains Region Library Director Teresa Cole said.

That's because to get the bookmobile out of park and onto the road, they'd have to hire a driver, and that's not something they have the money to do right now.

"People don't realize how much we depend on state funds," Cole said. "Books are expensive and we have to buy them." 

The Bookmobile serving Tift, Turner, Irwin, Berrien and Cook Counties checked out 17,000 books last year. It's parked at least until the new budget takes effect in July.

The problems at the Coastal Plains Region libraries go further than just the bookmobile, they've run out of state money to buy new books until the new fiscal year begins in July, and then they are expecting budget cuts to get worse.

"Twenty years ago, books were $11, now they are $30. The funding is similar to what it was then, with cuts it's even lower."

Without the bookmobile, children will have to travel to the library to grab a book, once there they likely won't be finding the newest of the new.

"We're supposed to be the reading capital. That's real bad for Tifton," Walter Mathis said.

But a  reality, South Georgia libraries are facing. 

posted at 6:20 p.m. by dave.d'marko@walb.com