Dauphin County libraries make resources mobile to reach people who need them

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Can’t make it to the library to use the computer or work on a job application? Now those resources can come to you.

The Dauphin County Library System officially rolled out the $120,000 project last week after years of waiting and planning. Employees toured the county Monday showing it off.

They made stops at libraries around the area to educate other employees about the mobile resource center, but the real goal is to take the modified van to places that wouldn’t normally have access to a public library.

“We wanted to make sure that we were still serving them,” DCLS youth services manager Hannah Killian said. She drove the mobile library – dubbed Marco after the explorer Marco Polo – around on Monday after helping introduce it to the community Friday.

“This is him,” she said with a laugh. “He is the exploration station.”

Killian and colleague Holly Etzweiler took Marco from one brick-and-mortar library to the next.

“It’s great,” Killian joked about driving the oversized cargo van. “It’s just like my Honda Fit.”

It’s more than just a bookmobile, she explained, because libraries these days are more than just book storage.

“It’s a lot more than I would have ever expected,” Mollie Gottshall, a public service assistant at the Johnson Memorial Library in Millersburg, said after getting a tour inside and out.

Employees like Killian can give presentations on a TV mounted under a door on the outside of the van. A big bubble-maker mounted near it aims to bring crowds.

“Like three bubbles started to pop out,” bringing excited kids running, Killian recalled from the launch Friday. “It was so funny.”

Inside, shelves store big floor mats the library employees can lay outside for kids, teaching and art supplies, and a few actual books. A rolling cart holds 10 laptops, all of them internet-connected.

“They’ll be able to do things like apply for jobs, do resumes, research,” said Catherine…

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