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Summer book exchange program will use mobile library bus

Jen Lautenbach wasn’t about to let a surplus school bus leave the district without conjuring up an academic use. As the library/tech specialist at Everson Elementary, Lautenbach had already been running a roving summer library out of a district van for a couple of summers. But she wanted to step things up this summer and a school bus makes the perfect fit.

As the district was set to surplus one of the smaller buses, Lautenbach received the okay from administrators to convert the bus into the new summer mobile library, stopping the bus multiple times throughout the break period in various spots throughout Everson to allow students to exchange school library books.

“As interest in this grows, maybe we can get the bus a flashy paint job,” she says, “and be the ice cream truck of books.”

On the final day of school, Everson sends each of the 260 students home with a book bag with three to five books in it from the library. Hopefully the students soon read through those books and need a way to get fresh material. The library bus fits the bill. Lautenbach says that starting July 6, the bus will stop at five different locations various times over the summer, offering a book exchange opportunity. The bus will also team up with the lunch bus to travel to those locations two times per week from July 10 through Aug. 10. The bus will sit out front of the school for additional open times.

Over the course of the summer, Lautenbach, teachers and volunteers will help staff the bus, including moving fresh books in and out of the mobile library.

The higher visibility with the use of a bus and the increased opportunities by partnering with the lunch bus has Lautenbach hoping participation only increases. To plan for the students, Nooksack Valley School District crews have already gutted all the seats but one and a parent volunteer built bookshelves to place inside the bus. Eventually the bus will also include stairs out the rear emergency exit, although that may not happen until summer 2018.

For this year, Lautenbach hopes to have banners for the side of the yellow bus and signs for the windows letting people know exactly what is going on inside. That flashy paint job will come some day, she hopes. “I think it will always be a work in progress."

Everson Meadows 5-5:20 pm

Adventist Chruch on Roesder St. 5:30-5:50 pm

The park in Sable Terrace 6-6:20 pm

Sulwhanon Community Building 6:30-6:50 pm

Everson Elementary 5-7 pm