Decommissioned PSS buses eyed for bookmobiles

The Joeten Kiyu Public Library is eyeing the conversion of decommissioned public school buses for the planned expansion of its bookmobile program.

Library executive director John O. Gonzales said he will ask Education Commissioner Rita A. Sablan if the Public School System’s old buses can be donated to the library, which needs more vehicles for its bookmobile program.

The bookmobile is a mini-library on wheels that makes weekly visits to villages, providing free library service to anyone on Saipan. It carries all sorts of books, from fiction to non-fiction, both for adults and children. Checkout of these materials is limited to three books per card for a loan of three weeks.

The Joeten Kiyu Public Library has only one bookmobile that carries over 1,000 books.

Gonzales said the bookmobile program was created after the library learned that many students do not have transportation, which he said is a perennial problem in the CNMI.

In an effort to bring the library to these children, the Joeten Kiyu Public Library applied for federal funding for the bookmobile to happen.

Gonzales said they aim to get two decommissioned PSS buses that the library will customize. Like the existing bookmobile, laptops will also be placed in the rolling library.

Gonzales said the bookmobile has already served thousands of children and adults on island.

Information Tech Center patrons up

Gonzales also shared the success of the library’s Information Technology Center, which has been attracting a record number of visitors.

Based on the latest numbers released by Gonzales’s office, the center had 390 visitors in January this year, compared to only 163 visitors in the same period last year.

In February 2012, the center drew 581 patrons, a large jump compared to the 176 recorded in same month last year.

Significant increases were also noted in March 2012, with 496 visitors compared to 270 in March 2011. In April, a total of 421 patrons visited the center compared to last year’s 219 visitors. May 2012 posted the highest number of visitors, 724, compared to only 299 in same period last year.

As of June 6, the center had 714 visitors-a big jump from the 254 visits in June 2011.

The center is equipped with 20 computers and regularly plays host to classes and workshops.

By Moneth Deposa

Moneth G. Deposa | Reporter

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