New Bookmobile Possible Thanks to $200,000 Gift from Capitol Federal®

The Library Foundation has received a $200,000 gift from the Capitol Federal® Foundation to fund a new bookmobile in 2014. Bookmobiles, which run 92 hours a week and serve about 100,000 customers a year, are a much-loved service of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.

“In a recent survey, customers told us how the bookmobile makes reading, research and homework assistance more accessible, especially for people who live some distance from the library,” said Gina Millsap, Library CEO. “We are pleased to be able to continue a tradition of efficient and convenient service to our community with the generous support of the Capitol Federal® Foundation.”

Jeanne Slusher, The Library Foundation Chair, praised Capitol Federal’s civic spirit.

“Capitol Federal is celebrating 120 years of service to the Topeka community,” Slusher said. “This gift affirms their commitment of service. We are delighted Capitol Federal® will be recognized as a Literacy Partner in providing library services when, where and how our citizens need them.”

John B. Dicus, Capitol Federal® Chairman, is proud to be a Literacy Partner in bringing the library to the community through new and improved bookmobile service.

“When determining our commitment to the library’s bookmobile project, we realized how important it is to provide an extension of the library to the citizens of Topeka, especially those who are not able to visit the library on a regular basis,” Dicus said. “The bookmobile also is a great opportunity for introducing the adventure of reading to children, for them to discover the fun of reading for a lifetime. We thank the library and The Library Foundation for inviting Capitol Federal® to serve as a Literacy Partner.”

The Library’s Board of Trustees approved a multi-vehicle, multi-year plan to replace the aging bookmobile fleet in December 2012. Bookmobile service has been around in some form since the 1940s. The library currently owns and operates two bookmobiles that stop at 21 different locations throughout the county. One bookmobile was purchased in 1993 and the other in 1996. The vehicles’ age and the high amount of use have led to an increased number of repairs for each vehicle. The age of the vehicles and their specialized nature have also made it difficult to locate the necessary parts to make repairs.

Matthews Specialty Vehicles, Inc., Greensboro, NC, was awarded the bid for a new 37-foot-long bookmobile that replaces the 1993 model. The new bookmobile will be stocked with a brand new inventory of books, movies, music and magazines when it arrives in the spring of 2014.