Monday, December 17, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened ...

One of our practical challenges is when and where to use the bathroom. One day at a local Head Start center, we were at the end of a very busy morning of hosting 6 consecutive read aloud story times. I guess I had a little too much coffee that day because I was in urgent need of a restroom and went inside for some relief.

It just so happened that on the same day, the police were visiting the center with one of their dogs, a German Shepard, to show the kids. So, there I was, minding my own business in the men's room of the center, when the door opens and in walks the officer and the dog.

I didn’t think too much of it, until I heard a growl, and felt the muzzle of the dog between my legs. The officer says, “Stay calm. Don’t move.”

“Don’t worry officer, I’m not going anywhere," I respond, stomach firmly in throat.

The officer says to the dog, (I hope), “No! Out! Down!” The dog growls, apparently not wanting to give it up. The officer says to me. “Just lift up your hands real slow where the dog can see them, and then turn around.”

“Is it ok if I zip up first?” I ask.

“Don’t make any sudden moves,” says the officer, so softly I can barely hear him above sound of my heart pounding in my ears.

“Officer, maybe you should put a leash on your dog before I do anything." My voice is a submissive whine.

“He won’t bite you,” replies the officer. "He would've already if that's what he intended."

“You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t take your word on that. I’m feeling a little vulnerable here,” I say.

The officer finally managed to control his dog and apologized. “I don’t know what got into Rex,” he said, “ I guess you looked like a criminal standing there facing the wall like that.”

I think Rex just has something against Bookmobile guys.

Friday, December 14, 2007

FAQ - How do you keep your feet warm?

Anyone who has ever spent a winter's day on a Bookmobile knows that keeping your feet warm is a challenge. The thin flooring material and carpet are no match for cold temps and a howling wind, even with the heat blasting. In fact, the bookmobile itself can be quite comfortable, but it is still nearly impossible to keep your feet warm. Unless, that is, you know an old Amishman's trick. Plastic bags. If you just can't get warm, take off your shoes, slip some plastic bags over your feet and put your shoes back on. Bread sacks work great, but any old plastic bag will work in a pinch. If you are fashion conscious, take a scissors and trim the bag off at the top of your shoe like Becky has done in the photo below.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

View From My Window

Chickies Rock County Park overlooking the Susquehanna River. A great place to have lunch, just west of Columbia.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wreck of the Bookmobile - Antsy McClain

Nope, not us he's singin' about!

Bookmobile Rocks the British Empire

The Uncommon Reader: a Novella
by Alan Bennett
reviewed by Becky

What happens when Queen Elizabeth II follows her errant corgis onto a bookmobile parked near the palace kitchen? Why, one feels compelled by protocol to check out a book, of course. One book leads to another, and soon Her Majesty has enlisted Norman, the kitchen boy, as her reader’s advisor. So begins a tale of royal awakening with surprising outcomes. Told with wit and a taste of queen-speak this novella will delight bookmobilers and all readers who have found their lives enriched by books.

This book is now available at the Bookmobile.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Library Fines

It looks like the editorial cartoonist at the The Onion had a bad day at the library. You can see the entire cartoon here. Those of you who use our bookmobile know that we do not collect fines, unless you insist, as some of you do. There are a number of reasons for this. 1)we do not have predictable access to the fully functioning circulation system and have to rely on off-line back-up systems for keeping track of books. This invariably causes mistakes or problems that will trigger fines for you, our patrons. 2) We recognize that for many of our patrons, mobility is an issue and sometimes it is just not possible to make it to the bookmobile. Some of our patrons do not have telephones or internet access either. 3) We have practical and philosophical issues with the practice of collecting fines. Studies have shown that fines are a deterrent to people bringing their books back to libraries. Also, people who need access to the libraries the most are those least able to pay fines, some of which can be quite exorbitant.

Do librarians deserve the negative stereotype as evidenced above? Of course not. But a few do. You know who you are.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Fiction @ the Bookmobile

Stone cold // Baldacci, David
Kissing Christmas goodbye// Beaton, M. C.
The tell-tale horse // Brown, Rita Mae
Book of the dead // Cornwell, Patricia
The chase // Cussler, Clive
Protect and defend // Flynn, Vince
World without end // Follett, Ken
Dead heat // Francis, Dick
Playing for pizza // Grisham, John
Finding Father Christmas // Gunn, Robin Jones
A spot of bother// Haddon, Mark
A lick of frost // Hamilton, Laurell K.
Pandora's daughter // Johansen, Iris
Home to Holly Springs // Karon, Jan
Between Sundays // Kingsbury, Karen
A Christmas visitor // Kinkade, Thomas
Mark's story // LaHaye, Tim F.
The parting // Lewis, Beverly
Rhett Butler's people // McCaig, Donald
Bloodfever // Moning, Karen Marie
Blonde faith // Mosley, Walter
Now and then // Parker, Robert B.
Bones to ashes // Reichs, Kathy
Creation in death //Robb, J. D.
Exit ghost // Roth, Philip
Bridge of sighs // Russo, Richard
Dark of the moon //Sandford, John
Beginnings //Sawyer, Kim Vogel
The almost moon // Sebold, Alice
The choice //Sparks, Nicholas
Amazing grace // Steel, Danielle
Every secret thing // Tatlock, Ann
Shoot him if he runs // Woods, Stuart
The Wednesday letters // Wright, Jason F.

New Audio books @ the Bookmobile

American creation // Ellis, Joseph J.
Beyond the White House // Carter, Jimmy
Pontoon // Keillor, Garrison
Now & then // Parker, Robert B.
You've been warned // Patterson, James
Pick me up! //

New Nonfiction @ the Bookmobile

The World almanac and book of facts //
Woman, thou art loosed! // Jakes, T. D.
If Democrats had any brains, they'd be Republicans // Coulter, Ann H.
The conscience of a liberal // Krugman, Paul R.
The White House staff // Patterson, Bradley H.
Listening to cougar //
The art of simple food // Waters, Alice
Seasons of central Pennsylvania // Corr, Anne Quinn
Craig Claiborne's southern cooking // Claiborne, Craig
New rooms for old houses // Shirley, Frank
Fantasy art now // McKenna, Martin
Chimneys and towers // Fahlman, Betsy
Kodak guide to digital photography // Sheppard, Rob
American creation // Ellis, Joseph J.
Boom! // Brokaw, Tom
Clapton // Clapton, Eric

View From My Window

Snowy Day- November 19, 2007 White Oak, PA at Community School West

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What You're Reading Now

With this post we're introducing a new occasional feature to our blog, "What You're Reading Now." The "Martinez" family* agreed to share their current reading selections to kick this feature off.

"Every man for himself : ten short stories about being a guy" edited by Nancy E. Mercado.
"Jude" by Kate Morgenroth.
"True confessions of a Hollywood starlet" by Lola Douglas.
"L.O.S.T." by Debbie Federici, Susan Vaught.
"Then he ate my boy entrancers : confessions of Georgia Nicolson" by Louise Rennison.
"The almost moon : a novel" by Alice Sebold.
Joyeux Noël [videorecording]
Pontoon [sound recording] by Garrison Keillor.
Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone [sound recording] by [J.K. Rowling].
"A Spot of Bother" by Mark Haddon
"New England White" by Stephen L. Carter
"Last Night I Dreamed of Peace : The Diary of Dang Thuy Tram"
"I Killed Adolf Hitler" by Jason
Angela's ashes [videorecording] /
Dead poets society [videorecording]
Anne Frank remembered [videorecording]
Signs [videorecording]
Tuck Everlasting [videorecording]

By my count, that comes to 10 books, 6 video recordings, and 2 audiobooks. I think it is fair to say that libraries enrich people's lives in many ways.

If you'd care to share your current selections, please be in touch.

*name changed

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New Nonfiction @ the Bookmobile

Slightly bad girls of the Bible
// Higgs, Liz Curtis.
A treasury of Christmas miracles // Kingsbury, Karen.
The nine // Toobin, Jeffrey.
Mozart and the whale // Newport, Jerry.
Plain secrets // Mackall, Joe.
The book of werewolves // Baring-Gould, S.
Desk reference to nature's medicine // Foster, Steven
Dangerous encounters-- avoiding perilous situations with autism // Davis, Bill
Louder than words // McCarthy, Jenny
Breaking autism's barriers // Davis, Bill
Entrepreneur's notebook // Gold, Steven K.
I am America (and so can you!) // Colbert, Stephen
The coldest winter // Halberstam, David.
National geographic almanac of American history // Miller, James
Celebrity detox // O'Donnell, Rosie
My grandfather's son //Thomas, Clarence

New Fiction @ the Bookmobile

The betrayed // Bergren, Lisa Tawn.
Armageddon's children // Brooks, Terry.
The hope chest // Brunstetter, Wanda E.
Looking for a miracle // Brunstetter, Wanda E.
A sister's secret // Brunstetter, Wanda E.
Like always // Elmer, Robert.
World without end //Follett, Ken.
The bloody trail // Galloway, Marcus.
Playing for pizza // Grisham, John.
On the fifth day // Hartley, A. J.
Echoes // Heitzmann, Kristen.
Forty to life // Jackson, Dave.
Summer // Kingsbury, Karen.
Just Jane // Moser, Nancy.
Run // Patchett, Ann.
Where my heart belongs // Peterson, Tracie.
Greywalker // Richardson, Kat.
Poltergeist // Richardson, Kat.
Bridge of sighs // Russo, Richard,
The orc king // Salvatore, R. A.,
Bygones // Sawyer, Kim Vogel.
Where willows grow // Sawyer, Kim Vogel.
Demon thief // Shan, Darren.
Love don't live here no more // Snoop Dogg,
The choice // Sparks, Nicholas.
Blood retribution // Thurlo, David.
Shoot him if he runs // Woods, Stuart.
When the heart cries // Woodsmall, Cindy.
When the morning comes // Woodsmall, Cindy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Hat Stays!

Back when I first started bookmobiling 7 years ago, our community relations department had some nice hats made up with the Library System of Lancaster County logo emblazoned on the front. "The Hat" quickly became established as a crucial element in this bookmobiler's uniform. Besides the jaunty curved bill and the stylish green color, The Hat served some useful purposes. 1) It keeps the sun out of my eyes. 2)It's just like a name tag. When I wear The Hat, people know I'm in charge. 3) A necktie decidedly does not go with The Hat.

Just recently, some of my image conscious co-workers have been giving me a hard time about The Hat. It's ugly. It's unprofessional. It doesn't project the image we want to project. It's low-brow. I beg to differ. In fact, The Hat has made some remarkable appearances in art throughout history, and likewise is making in-roads into popular culture. Take a look at Modigliani's rendition of The Hat.

Not convinced? El Greco also slipped The Hat into more than one of his iconic paintings.

Botticelli's fondness for The Hat is well documented.

My sources in Japan tell me that a new Manga series featuring "The Hat" is now in development. Here is an early concept drawing that was leaked exclusively to me.

So, my friends. The Hat Stays!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

View From My Window

Fairmount Homes -West Earl Township

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Look what happens when you put books into the hands of kids? They sit down and read!

Do you have pictures of people reading that you'd like to share with us? We'd love to post them. Our contact information is available in the column on the right.

Remembering our Tragedy

Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy
By Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt and David L. Weaver-Zercher

October 2 marks one year since the tragic events at the West Nickel Mines Amish School in Lancaster County. The shooting of ten girls brought horror to this quiet, rural community. The evening of the same day Amish men visited the Roberts family—Charles Roberts’ widow and father—to offer comfort and to let the family know that Charles was forgiven. The men were speaking for the Amish community not just themselves.

Amish Grace explores the faith and community roots of Amish forgiveness. It offers a window into the culture of a people who look to the teachings of Jesus and the stories of their spiritual ancestors for guidance in their personal and collective lives. For those of us who were startled by the seemingly spontaneous and immediate forgiveness of a killer, the book is enlightening. Could it also be transforming?

Friday, September 28, 2007


How do you keep the Bookmobile clean?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Library Storms Ephrata Parade

Goths in a Hat Stormed the Ephrata Parade last night with backup from the Bookmobile. These teen volunteers for the Ephrata Public Library blanketed the parade route with candy and 3,000 copies of a special edition newsletter from the Ephrata Public Library. In case you are tempted to let a little black lipstick fool you, don't. These kids worked hard on a hot night on a parade route that easily covered 3 miles and took almost 3 hours to cover. Hard workers, every one of them.

As a bonus we were accompanied by these two beloved literary celebrities...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Live Homework Help for Students - Awesome!

What happens when your child needs assistance with her math homework that you just aren't able to give? Her geometry or Algebra 2 assignment might as well be in Swahili and she is pleading with you for help. First step, Relax. There is help and it is easy to get. Next, take out your library card, go to your computer (or one at the library), and go to the website of the Library System of Lancaster County or any member library. Look for the "Live Homework Help" icon shown above and click on it. You will be asked to enter the number on your library card. Select "Live Homework Help" from a list of online resources. You will be asked for the subject and grade level and within a few moments you will be connected to a trained tutor who will assist your student in understanding her homework. If you have ever used instant messaging software, the process is quite similar. The tutor won't do the homework, but will assist your child in understanding how to do it. Tutoring is available in math, science, social studies and English in grade levels 4-12.

It's free, it's easy, and it's convenient and it's available @ your library.

View From My Window

Ivy Parochial School, Paradise

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Q: How do the books stay on the shelves?

A: They just do...

... unless they don't!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Book Worms on Parade in Quarryville

We had a great time last night in Quarryville where we were escorted in style by these Book Worms along the parade route. It was a glorious evening and folks came out in droves. It was heartening to hear the shouts of support for the Quarryville Library as we passed by. If you've ever wondered about the place of libraries in small towns, you should hitch a ride with us during a parade and hear what people are saying and see how they react. It is no small thing when a ten-year-old boy stands up among his friends and shouts, "I love to read! The Library rocks!"

I couldn't resist this picture... hug a librarian, indeed!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Readers' Jamboree @ Dutch Wonderland

Saturday, September 15, the bookmobile went to Dutch Wonderland for Readers' Jamboree. We celebrated with the families whose children had completed the Library System of Lancaster County's summer reading program. Children ages six to twelve who completed 15 literacy activities plus read an additional five hours earned entrance to the family amusement park during this weekend.

The bookmobile was parked beside the Giant Slide, a fortuitous choice as the day warmed up and dried off. Folks waiting for turns on the slide found a place holder and stepped out of line to visit the mobile or swept down the slide and brought their energy and big grins inside to coo at the awesome sight of a book-lined truck. In all, 95 adults and 206 children stepped on board. Some took route schedules to skim for a stop near home. Some found gems to check out. Moms and Dads plopped down on the benches to read stories to their little ones. One father requested a reserve for a family pass to the North Museum. Folks from afar--Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and New York--told stories about their libraries back home. More than a few observations about the crowded park were clarified when travelers heard about the jamboree.

The Readers' Jamboree is a generous gift of Dutch Wonderland who has been one of the summer reading program's sponsors for four years. Visitors to the bookmobile said they were having a great time. One woman exclaimed, "We love this park! We'll be back again before it closes for the season."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Stop @ Country Meadows

Come join us at:

Country Meadows Retirement Community
1380 Elm Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17603

Third Monday of each month from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Map of 1380 Elm Ave Lancaster, PA 17603-4642, US

New Fiction @ the Bookmobile

  • Away // Bloom, Amy.
  • Dark possession // Feehan, Christine.
  • Lord John and the brotherhood of the blade // Gabaldon, Diana.
  • Pontoon // Keillor, Garrison.
  • You've been warned // Patterson, James.
  • Bones to ashes // Reichs, Kathy.
  • The Elephanta suite // Theroux, Paul.

Monday, September 10, 2007

We Want Books!

It's a bookmobile commercial! This comes from Hawaii, so don't call unless you actually live there. Call us instead:717-207-0500.

View From My Window

The Bookmobile visits Oak Hollow just outside of Columbia on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday's of each month from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Come and see us!

Friday, September 7, 2007

One Book One Community

I think you'll enjoy The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon. A mystery told from the perspective of Christopher, a 15 year old with Asperger's Syndrome, the book draws into sharp relief the assumptions we make about normality. You can find the book at any public library in Lancaster County.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Special Appearances by the Bookmobile

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

View from my window

View from my window
Originally uploaded by bkm2.0
St. Anne's Retirement Community

Bookmobileguy humor

Becky: A group of lions is called a pride.
Bookmobileguy: yes.
Becky: A group of cows is called a herd.
Bookmobileguy: Okay
Becky: A group of dogs is called a pack.
Bookmobileguy: Your point?
Becky: So what is a group of bookmobiles called? A fleet?
Bookmobileguy: No. A group of bookmobiles is called "a band."
Becky: Why, on earth?
Bookmobileguy: Because, we "Shake, Rattle and Roll!"

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Thanks, Joe!

A shout out to Joe of The Comic Store located at 28 McGovern Ave in Lancaster, PA for the generous donation of graphic novels and comics collections to the bookmobile. These materials are among the most popular on our shelves...that is to say, they are rarely on our shelves. Thanks, Joe!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Bookmobile staff: Becky & Ed

As if you didn't already know what we looked like!

New Fiction @ the Bookmobile

  • Catch a rising star // Bateman, Tracey Victoria
  • Force of nature //Brockmann, Suzanne
  • Play dirty //Brown, Sandra
  • The king in yellow//Chambers, Robert W.
  • Critical // Cook, Robin
  • Agnes & the hitman//Crusie, Jennifer
  • Sweet revenge //Davidson, Diane Mott
  • Waking with enemies//Dickey, Eric Jerome
  • Book of Daniel //Doctorow, E. L.
  • Power play//Finder, Joseph
  • Spook country//Gibson, William
  • Woman in red//Goudge, Eileen
  • Sandworms of Dune //Herbert, Brian
  • The dead don't lie //Kaminsky, Stuart M.
  • Burnt house // Kellerman, Faye
  • Devil may cry // Kenyon, Sherrilyn
  • The careful use of compliments // McCall Smith, Alexander
  • The first commandment // Thor, Brad

New Nonfiction @ the Bookmobile

  • Global warning //LaHaye, Tim F.
  • Justice in the burbs//Samson, Will
  • Jesus freaks//
  • Great book of tattoo designs // Irish, Lora S.
  • Holly Clegg's trim & terrific diabetic cookbook//Clegg, Holly Berkowitz
  • The low-cholesterol cookbook //Ilies, Angelika
  • 5 spices, 50 dishes//Kahate, Ruta
  • Freehand perspective and sketching //Norton, Dora Miriam
  • Great animal drawings and prints //
  • Kovels' American collectibles, 1900-2000 //Kovel, Ralph M.
  • Lost history//Morgan, Michael Hamilton

New Biographies @ the Bookmobile

  • You can run but you can't hide // Chapman, Duane
  • It's all about him // Jackson, Denise
  • Happy endings // Norton, Jim
  • The book of David // Steinberg, David
  • Harriet Tubman // Lowry, Beverly
  • The slaves' champion, or, A sketch of William Wilberforce // Wheeler, Henry

Welcome to Bookmobile 2.0

Welcome to Bookmobile 2.0, a blog about the Bookmobile of the Library System of Lancaster County (PA). With Bookmobile 2.0 we hope to share with you, our readers and collaborators, information and links that you will find useful or entertaining or even both. We’ll be pushing out lists of our new books and dvds. We’ll be inviting you to send us reviews of your most recent reads and views. We’ll publish the occasional photo or video to make it all more interesting.

For those of you wondering about our name, we consider it to be aspirational as opposed to descriptive. We’re a late arrival on the 2.0 learning curve, so bear that in mind as we find our way. More information about what 2.0 means can be found in Wikipedia. Yesterday, Bookmobile 2.0 was just a dream; today it is born; the fullness of time will see its maturation. We’ll need you every step of the way.