The Bookmobile: Driven to have what you seek to read

“So this is where all the good books are hidden.”

This statement was recently made by a patron who regularly visits the main branch of the Bartholomew County Public Library in Columbus but happened upon the Bookmobile one day. She found our inspirational collection and loaded herself down with all the Amish books she could carry.

The Bookmobile is not, in fact, hiding books. We simply have a smaller patron base, and we carry new, popular titles. We make the most popular titles express, meaning they cannot be put on hold. That way, they stay on the Bookmobile instead of going to another branch to fulfill a hold.

I cannot tell you how many times someone has come in just to see what the Bookmobile is like and ends up leaving with the book they have been waiting for.

We have had multiple success stories with the book “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance. First, one of our regular patrons mentioned that she had heard of the book and was hoping we could get it for her. It was sitting on the shelf.

Shortly after that patron brought the book back, another woman happened in to the Bookmobile just to have a look around. She mentioned that she had put the book on hold at the downtown branch, but she wasn’t able to pick it up before it expired. Lo and behold, there it was, sitting on our shelf. She came in just to see what we were like and ended up with the book she’d been waiting for.

For reference, “Hillbilly Elegy” has had a total of 82 holds placed on it since it was added to the library collection in June 2016. As of writing this, all six copies that the library owns are currently checked out.

While I’m writing this article, the Bookmobile is sitting in the garage, stocked and ready for our first trip out Monday morning. Sitting on our shelves is “Seeing Red” by Sandra Brown. Downtown, that same book has 11 holds on it, meaning it will be a while before it ever finds a shelf to sit on.

Don’t think that these examples show that no one uses the Bookmobile. Yes, Sandra Brown’s new book is on the shelf right now. Chances are someone else will have already had their own success story of finding it available by the time you are reading this.

We have plenty of patrons who have new, popular books on hold or checked out, meaning it might be a few weeks before those books make it to the shelves. I am simply saying to make sure you consider the Bookmobile when searching out your next read, as we definitely keep up with the demands of our readers.

You can find where the bookmobile stops by going to this link:

Stop in and visit us. We always love to hear people making statements such as, “Oh, I didn’t even know Danielle Steel had a new book out!” That is how we know we have gained a new Bookmobile patron.

Valerie Baute is the Bookmobile manager at the Bartholomew County Public Library and can be reached at

Bookmobile stops

The Bookmobile goes to all 12 townships in Bartholomew County.

You can find out about the bookmobile stops by going to this link:

Information: 812-379-1278