FRAMINGHAM – On National Bookmobile Day, the Framingham Library Trustees, the Framingham Public Library Foundation Board, and library staff unveiled the City’s new bookmobile.
Two years in the making and $155,000 raised by about 275 donors, the bookmobile is a mini library on wheels.
Full of books, movies, music, and technology, the bookmobile will help the library bring its many resources to homebound or disabled individuals, senior citizens, low-income neighborhoods, English language learners, and after-schol programs.
The bookmobile is for the whole community, delivering the joy of curiosity, learning and inspirations to all walks of life fulfilling the promise of the pubic library for everyone, explained Foundation President Ruth Winett.
The new bookmobile is a hot spot for wi-fi. Inside there is a printer and several tablets to use.
And of course there are more than 2,000 books, cook books, video DVDs, and music CDs to borrow.
The Foundation and the Library specifically chose to unveil the bookmobile on National Bookmobile Day with a ribbon cutting in downtown Framingham, in front of the Memorial Building.
Mayor Yvonne Spicer cut the ribbon.
The Mayor said the bookmobile will provide access to children and families.
She said growing up in Brooklyn, the library was a place where she could “escape to and find the world.”
“This is an opportunity for families to access knowledge, as knowledge is power,” said Mayor Spicer. “And power gives you opportunity.”
Also participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony was Winett, Library Director Mark Contois, Assistant Library Director Lena Kilburn, City Council chair Dennis Giombetti with his granddaughter Addison, Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis, and Rep. Maria Robinson.
“I’d like to thank Ruth Winett and her team for the outstanding effort and job that they did,” said Giombetti. “I see this really as a community project – from the beginning to the end. Raising money was a community effort.”
And the community responded, said Giombetti.
“It was a great idea when the first bookmobile came to Framingham in 1954,” said Giombetti. “It was a great idea in ’54, and it is a great idea today (2019).”
Giombetti said the Foundation board raised money with “persistance and passion” to get the outcome, that is being celebrated today.
But most importantly, Giombetti said this was about “bringing services to the community.”
The bookmobile will bring services to the underserved in neighborhoods and in certain populations.
Giombetti said as a kid he remember using the 1954 bookmobile in Framingham. He said for his generation it was a major place to access books.
He said he brought his granddaughter to the ribbon cutting, as “this is all about the kids. So they can have access to books and to reading.”
On National Bookmobile Day, the bookmobile made 5 stops in the community. It started at City Hall plaza for the launch, and then made a stop at Wilson Elementary School with Superintendent of Schools Bob Tremblay and School Committee Chair Adam Freudberg.
The green and blue bookmobile can’t be missed when it rolls into a neighborhood.
Designer Geoffrey Bloom, founder and chief creative officer at GigaWatt Graphics in Peabody, designed the wrapper for the Ford 450 truck, which 25.5 feet long.
This was his favorite of four designs he presented, and the Framingham Public Library Foundation Board loved the blue & green themed truck too.
After visiting the elementary school in District 9, the bookmobile stopped at two adult living centers – Brookdale and Carmel Terrace, before reaching its final stop the MetroWest YMCA.
The bookmobile has a lift for people with disabilities.
The bookmobile is equipped with an awning for outdoor programming. The library wants to hold story hours for children as it travels from district to district in the city.
Contois said the staff needs to get trained in driving the vehicle, so an official list of locations the bookmobile will visit won’t be for a couple of weeks, but he said it is already scheduled for a couple of public events.
Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis joked the bookmobile can now deliver books to his house, as he presented a citation to the library director.
State Rep. Maria Robinson, a former Framingham Public Library Foundation board member, presented the citation with Rep. Lewis.
“We have the best library delegation on Beacon Hill,” said Contois.
“This project was truly a labor of love,” said Rep. Robinson.
She said not only the book, but the technology will give equity to students when it visits their neigborhood.
Susan Nichols presented a citation on behalf of Senate President Karen Spilka, who represents Framingham.
Also in attendance at the ribbon cutting on Tueday morning was District 4 City Councilor Mike Cannon, District 6 City Councilor Michael Rossi, and District 8 City Councilor Judy Grove.
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, there was a reception inside Nevins Hall, with food and coffee provided by Dunkin’ Donuts and Wegmans.
Photos by Susan Petroni/Petroni Media Company for SOURCE ©2019. All Rights Reserved.
Photos below by Sheryl Goldstein
Photo below by Adam Freudberg