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Wade elected local GOP unit chair


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Library struggles to stay on the road / July 29, 2010
Library board members on Tuesday afternoon continued to look for answers to the problem they are encountering with the bookmobile which has been in service for the past 21 years, delivering books to the more rural areas of the county each Thursday.

Library Director Rhonda Griffin said the bookmobile has not been able to complete three of its last five trips due to maintenance issues, noting that the vehicle’s generator does not always work in the summer heat and the quote for a new generator is over $5,000, not including labor and body work.

Griffin said she has spent over $1,000 since May on maintenance.

But the board’s options were not very encouraging as a new bookmobile is estimated to cost about $170,000 — “something we simply cannot afford,” she said.

Other options include the purchase of a new cargo van which would not offer the same services as those of the bookmobile which has shelves of books from which residents may chose. A new cargo van which would be used to simply transport a limited number of books which could be requested by patrons of the bookmobile, is estimated to cost $26,000 while a used cargo van might be purchased for somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000. A rental van would cost nearly the same amount — between $5,000 and $10,000.

Another option — that of possibly mailing books out upon request – would run up a bill of $5 per book mailed.

Griffin said she has been checking with the agency that offers used vehicles to governmental departments “Gov Deals” to see what might be offered. In the meantime, since the bookmobile driver has suffered injuries which will prohibit her from driving for the next six weeks, Griffin said there will be no bookmobile service during that time.

During this period the Board authorized her to contact local automotive businesses to see if she could find something affordable that the Board might be able to purchase. And in the interim, library personnel will attempt to service some of their regular patrons by delivering books to them in their personal cars.

The usual schedule for the bookmobile has consisted of stops on the first Thursday of each month in Clover, Mt. Laurel, Hunting Creek and Roark’s Store. On the second Thursday of each month it stopped at Cluster Springs, Main Street of Virgilina, Aarons Creek and Boston Commons. On the third Thursday the bookmobile stops at Clays Mill School, Millstone Grocery, Leda Store, County Line Church, Mt. Vernon Church and Halifax. On the fourth Thursday it stopped at the old Turbeville Post Office, Calvary, D&G Grocery on U.S. 58 West and in Halifax.

Griffin also advised that the South Boston Library will have to be closed for a two week period in September while the interior is being repainted. Griffin said she will notify the public of the exact time that the library will have be closed, but she plans to have a grand re-opening celebration after the painting and renovations are completed.

She also reported to board members that the Massey Cancer Center of Richmond has contacted her about a two-year program they want to carry out in Halifax County which will focus on healthy training programs such as nutrition and exercise. The program will add another $3,000 in computer equipment for the two libraries where a local consultant will offer programs each week.

Board members approved a new rule for library users — no one but library staffers will be allowed to use the library telephones since some visitors have earlier abused the use, tying up the lines which are needed for staff use. Employees will be allowed to make calls for visitors only in the case of emergencies.

Library board members were further advised that circulation at the Halifax branch rose 21 percent during the past year with usage at the South Boston branch jumping by 10 percent. Griffin also reported that the library will have $24,719.82 left in its budget from the past year which will be carried over to the new 2010-2011 budget.

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