New bookmobile rolls into Coshocton

| September 1, 2017

A long anticipated new bookmobile rolled into Coshocton on Thursday, Aug. 31 following final inspections to rave reviews from the library staff. The new bookmobile replaces a vehicle that was 21 years old and was suffering from multiple maintenance issues including the generator, a key component. Pictured from left are: Kim Eick, Eric Taggart, executive director of the Coshocton Public Library, Donna Conrad, driver and Kris Ringwalt, bookmobile manager. Mark Fortune | Beacon

COSHOCTON – A large brown and green wheeled project 18 months in the making rolled into town on Thursday, Aug. 31 making its debut at the Coshocton Public Library. That project of course, is a brand new bookmobile, replacing a 21 year old vehicle that has logged thousands of miles and hauled knowledge to all corners of Coshocton County during its storied life.

Library Executive Director Eric Taggart said, “This is a good day. Kris (Ringwalt – bookmobile manager) has certainly looked forward to it. Our current bookmobile is 21 years old and so we’re really excited to serve the public well. Just this week we had a problem with the generator – which is a common problem.”

“This bookmobile is so much quieter and came from OBS Inc. in Canton, Ohio. We’ve been working on this project for a year and a half – and I even started on some things prior to that, writing some grants, etc. We’ve got a lot of community support for it.”

“And I think that’s the most important thing to me – it just reflects how supportive the community has been of the library because about half of this project was paid in local grants and donations. That’s really meaningful to us. And the rest was paid for – prior to 2009 when we had the big budget crunch – Ann Miller did a great job setting money aside so with that savings and the grants we were able to purchase this.”

Kris Ringwalt said they would find out tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 1) how many books it would hold but they expect 5,000 to 7,000. She said, “It has air conditioning sensors throughout the whole bus, it has heating and cooling sensors which we don’t have now. That will be a huge difference especially to the people that come on board. I’ve been doing this since 1999 and the old bookmobile wasn’t; that old when I started. As the years went on you realize that things are starting to deteriorate and you can’t replace them because it was becoming too old. For this it’s just going to be so much better for everyone – certainly us because we are on it every day but the patrons as well. Because of the new shelving system we have we will be able to pull things on and off quickly.”

“We can tell you that it is essentially the same size off vehicle. I don’t know how 21 years transpires with regards to soundproofing and all that but I think it will be way better,” Taggart said.

Ringwalt said, “When we take the bookmobile out to a school and they announce that the bookmobile is here, you can usually hear a cheer throughout the whole school, ‘Yes!” from the students, knowing that we are there for most of the day. It’s a very satisfying feeling knowing that you are providing an instrument for a child to succeed and I think the bookmobile is a huge instrument in that.”

The new bookmobile comes at a cost of $287,555. Taggart was quick to point out that, “A lot of the credit goes to former library director Ann Miller, who had the foresight to set aside funds and budget very efficiently. Because she did that it was easier for the library to receive grants for the project as they were not starting from scratch. We are really fortunate to have received so much money in local grants and donations. And without the generosity of these community partners, and without proper planning, this project simply could not have happened.”

Several of the area organizations that contributed to the new bookmobile were: Coshocton Foundation, Montgomery Foundation, Schooler Family Foundation, G. Saba and Sons Memorial Trust, Simpson Family Foundation, Coshocton Rotary Club, McWane Ductile-Ohio, Peoples Bank Foundation, Tom & Merle Leech Donor Advised Fund and the State Library of Ohio. Several individual donors that contributed wished to remain anonymous.

 

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I live with my beautiful wife Nancy on a small farm just outside Coshocton. We have been married for thirty two years and have two grown children, Jessica and Jacob. Jessica is married to Aaron Mencer and they are employed with Coshocton City Schools. Jacob is a sophomore at Kent State University. I graduated from River View High School, have a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina Wesleyan University and am actively involved with the Roscoe United Methodist Church, serve on several local committees and am a member of the Coshocton Kiwanis Club, having served as Past-President. I love reading, especially military thrillers, the Civil War and history in general. My goal is to write a novel. My wife and I are also AdvoCare distributors and encourage anyone wanting to lose weight, gain energy and better health to explore AdvoCare at our website; www.fortunes4advocare.com. I love the media field, innovative technology and have worked in newspapers for over 30 years – in fact, my first job was delivering newspapers. The Beacon is a dream made possible by the support of this community and a great team. I hope to continue serving Coshocton County for many years.

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