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Story Tours Bookmobile Program celebrates disability inclusion

Kern County Library

The Story Tours Bookmobile program is proud to support the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 31st Anniversary with a free book giveaway at all Kern County stops (while supplies last). On July 26, we celebrate this important civil rights law that works to ensure all people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

On May 3, the Kern County Library partnered up with Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) to launch Story Tours, a new bookmobile service that has been bringing Kern County Library services to rural communities across the region to ensure readers of all ages can have access to books.

“Our rural communities face serious challenges and bookmobiles remain vital in connecting residents to library books and resources in areas where people usually live far from a branch and often have limited or no access to the internet,” said Andie Sullivan, director of Libraries for the County of Kern, and one of the leaders of this initiative. “As the County begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Story Tours Project helps to fill the gaps in rural communities by providing the same one-on-one library services to residents that is offered in our physical buildings. That social connection, coupled with reading and learning opportunities for families, helps to sharpen the relationship between libraries, infrastructure, people, and books.”

The bookmobile partnership is funded by a generous grant from the Virginia and Alfred Harrell Foundation to support rural literacy.

“Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK)’s partnership with the Kern County Library, funded by the Virginia and Alfred Harrell Foundation, is an exciting opportunity to bring the joy of reading to all corners of the community in Kern County.” said Pritika Ram, director of Administration for CAPK, whose initial idea sparked the project. “The Story Tours Project aims to provide access to culturally diverse and relevant books to residents where they learn and live regardless of physical, economic, social, and geographic, or other barriers. ”

Story Tours Bookmobile visits will provide underserved communities with a chance to reserve and check out books from the Kern County Library system, participate in crafts and story time events and receive book giveaways.

July’s book giveaways feature the book I Talk Like a River, written by Jordan Scott and illustrated by Syndey Smith (Neal Porter Books, 2020). Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, as well as a New York Times Best Children’s Book of the Year, this picture book for ages 4 to 8 articulates what it is like to be different. In this case, what it is like to live with dysfluency, or stuttering. In addition to picture books, similarly themed middle grade and high school books will be part of the giveaway.

Celebrate disability equity and inclusion with us by visiting one of the following bookmobile stops (schedule subject to change http://www.kerncountylibrary.org/story-tours-2021.)

Mondays – East Kern

• 10:15-11:15 a.m. – Mojave Branch Library

• 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Mojave West Park

• 1-2 p.m. – California City Branch Library

• 3-4 p.m. – Boron Park

Tuesdays – East Bakersfield

• 9:15-9:45 a.m. – Holloway-Gonzales

Branch Library

• 10:15-11:15 a.m. – Friendship House

• 12-12:45 p.m. – Casa Loma Park

• 1-1:45 p.m. – Pioneer Park

• 2-3 p.m. – Northeast Branch Library

• 3:15-4:15 p.m. – Heritage Park

• 4:45-5:15 p.m. – Baker Branch Library

Wednesdays – West Kern & West Bakersfield

• 9:45-11:45 a.m. – Shafter Church of God

• 12:30-2:30 p.m. – La Colonia, Shafter

• 3:15-4:45 p.m. – McFarland Branch


Thursdays – West Kern & Bakersfield

• 10:15-11:45 a.m. – Lost Hills Park

• 12:45-1:45 p.m. – Buttonwillow

Branch Library

• 2:45-3:45 p.m. – Rexland Acres Park

• 4-5 p.m. – Wilson Branch Library