History of the BookyMobile
Submitted by: Jeffrey C. Woodyard, Executive Director of Tri-County OIC
In 2008, Tri-County OIC created the OIC BookyMobile – a travelling bookmobile for kids and adults. The idea of the BookyMobile started when the OIC executive director realized that many low-income children and their parents did not have access to enough books at home. Schools were struggling to provide books to students and access to libraries was limited to those who lacked transportation and resources.
With a $10,000 donation from Verizon, which was used to purchase, retrofit, and “wrap” an old FEMA trailer and over $1,000,000 worth of free school books and supplies from McGraw-Hill and Pearson Education, and a lot of help from volunteers, OIC was able to create and grow the BookyMobile into a local institution.
Now, the BookyMobile goes to community events, elementary schools, neighborhood block parties, holiday celebration to distribute free books and school supplies throughout Central Pennsylvania. Each year the BookyMobile participates in over 35 community events starting in April and ending in December. The BookyMobile has given away over 50,000 books to children and adults.
The OIC BookyMobile addresses the need for (1) for at-risk families to establish supportive reading libraries in their homes for children, (2) to remove the transportation barrier of access to books by creating and participating in neighborhood book distribution events, and (3) to provide books to families with limited financial resources. The project staff accomplish this by bringing free educational and information resources directly to the families in their neighborhoods and communities.