Iowa City Bookmobile reaches more kids with new fall route

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) -- The Iowa City Bookmobile already runs all year throughout Iowa City, and on Monday it started a new route.

The Iowa City Bookmobile makes its first stop at Faith Academy in Iowa City on Tuesday, August 27th (MARLON HALL/KCRG)

As an extension of the main library in Iowa City, The Iowa City Book Mobile helps reach those who may not be able to travel to the downtown location.

The bookmobile has books and videos for people of all ages, and the new route makes an extra effort to reach out to kids.

Since 2017, the bookmobile has served neighborhoods, schools, senior centers, and other public locations. It added Faith Academy in Iowa City to its fall route.

“I wanted to start a culture of reading at home and thought this would be a good way to do that,” Bernadine Franks, a family liaison at Faith Academy, said.

Franks was responsible for getting the bookmobile to make a stop at the school. She said she grew up in a St. Louis housing project and can still remember how she felt when she first got access to a library.

“I thought back to how exciting it was for me and if we would have the same level of excitement in our scholars here,” Franks said.

The bookmobile already makes stops at some Iowa City Community School District schools. Adding Faith Academy, a private school that mainly serves lower-income families, lets the library reach even more students.

“Literacy is something that is very important, so we want to make sure those materials are available to children and we want to keep them reading year-round,” Kara Logsden, with the Iowa City Public Library, said.

For the first time, many of the kids were able to register for their own library card, giving them the chance to pick up a new book every week.

“This gives them a sense of responsibility," Franks said. "And, if mom doesn’t feel like going, I know Tuesday at Faith Academy, I can go."

Jan Hochstetler, principal at Faith Academy, said she hopes the bookmobile will encourage students to read more at home.

“It’s great for our kids to have library cards because we do have a library here, but it is limited, of course," Hochstetler said. "There're different library locations that they can get, and it’s something they can do with their families and encourages them to read with their families."

The bookmobile makes stops in Iowa City, Monday through Friday. You can find those locations at this website.