Mar 8, 2024 - News

West Des Moines library launches new "bookmobile"

The Words on Wheels truck in a warehouse

WDM library's new truck. Photo: Courtesy of WDMPL

West Des Moines Public Library is preparing to launch its new "Words on Wheels" truck, letting people check out and return books from a "bookmobile."

Why it matters: WDM only has one library location.

  • The bookmobile will be able to better reach all residents amid the city's explosive growth.

State of play: West Des Moines Public Library opened in 1996 off Mills Civic Parkway on what was the western edge of town.

  • But thanks to the area's growth, it's now central, library head of youth services Jenna Ehler tells Axios.

How it started: WDM already has a mobile library program, but librarians use their own cars so it's not very visible, Ehler says.

  • The library decided to deck out a Ford F-350 similar to an ice cream truck by adding a box and music to it.
  • The truck cost around $100K and was funded by the WDM Library Friends Foundation and library gift trust money.

What's next: Library staff want to start using the truck this spring or summer and visit preschools, day cares and parks.

  • They also want to bring it out weekly to Cumming this summer, whose residents also use the WDM library.
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