Library2Go marks anniversary

Published 10:05 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Suffolk’s Library2Go service turns a year old this week.

In celebration of the mobile library’s birthday, the library’s outreach team has stocked the vehicle with birthday-themed decorations and activities, such as do-it-yourself party hats. The birthday-themed festivities will continue through Friday, as National Library Week is also recognized.

The library’s former bookmobile was retired in April 2016, after more than 30 years of service, for a smaller and better-equipped replacement.

One-year-old Harmony Joy Waters, 4-year-old Aaron Sullivan, 7-year-old Jada Sullivan, and Vinchelle Waters enjoyed the arts and crafts at the Library2Go in Lone Star Lakes Park. Jada said she made a “purple birdie,” also named Jada. Written on it was “thank you library.”

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Library2Go is 24 feet long, 12 feet shorter than its predecessor, with an outdoor flat screen and awning. Outlets allow for device charging, and the vehicle also serves as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Assistant director of libraries Sarah Townsend said the vehicle’s size allows any staff member to drive without a commercial driver’s license.

“You don’t have to have a CDL, which was important to us,” Townsend said. “Any of our staff can drive it.”

The vehicle has made 250 stops across Suffolk in its first year of service, according to library outreach and program manager Megan Mulvey. She said the goal is to meet people in any Suffolk environment, from its urban locales to its more rural settings in Holland and Chuckatuck.

“Bridging the gap in access to our services is really important to us,” she said.

Mulvey and Townsend drove the vehicle to Lone Star Lakes Park on Tuesday, bringing arts and crafts, hula hoops, an inflatable bowling set and hundreds of library books.

Suffolk resident Vinchelle Waters brought 1-year-old Harmony Joy Waters, 4-year-old Aaron Sullivan and 7-year-old Jada Sullivan to the park for a picnic, and was surprised by the Library2Go. Waters brings the children to the library once a month.

She appreciated the free festivities of the mobile unit, especially during spring break.

“You just come out and have a good time,” she said. “It’s really neat.”

Townsend said improving their day made the drive to the park worthwhile.

“If you have an impact on one person, it’s worth it,” she said. “That’s our philosophy with outreach.”

That philosophy extends to the Library2Go stops at Suffolk retirement and housing redevelopment communities. Mulvey said children often come to the vehicle in housing redevelopment communities to use its Wi-Fi, playing games or doing homework on their devices.

“We want to be on the road as much as possible; that’s our goal,” she said. “It’s just a matter of finding places to go.”

She said there are plans to hold Library2Go stops in new locations in North Suffolk. She also is interested in arranging events at businesses and manufacturing facilities.

“We would love to do lunch-break and shift-change stops,” she said.

Townsend said it just takes finding one person in a community to provide Library2Go services and make an impact.

“We go where the people are,” she said.

For Library2Go stops this week and other information, visit or call 514-7313.