Monroe Township Library’s Bookmobile increases its community presence

The Monroe Township Library's Bookmobile is back on the road for the summer.



As the summer heats up, so, too, are plans for the Monroe Township Library’s Bookmobile.

The converted 24-foot bus will be making its way through the township as part of an effort to increase its service and outreach to residents, according to the library’s Community Engagement Coordinator Natasha Mikulich.

“We finally reopened for full services after the COVID restrictions were lifted,” Mikulich said. “So we’ve got additional public stops, and we’ve extended the length of time we stay at a location.”

The Bookmoble is essentially a traveling library that provides many of the same offerings as its brick-and-mortar counterpart – and it brings them directly to residents.

It’s especially advantageous for those with limited mobility, particularly retirement communities’ residents, children and, more recently, those who aren’t quite ready to share enclosed spaces with others.

And it has been quite a hit.

“We get kids who hop off the school bus and swing by right. I think it’s just a special treat for a lot of them, so they get really excited to see the Bookmobile. The residents in the adult communities are always very eager to talk to us and check out the new books,” Mikulich said. “Monroe is such a physically large town, so I love the fact that we can bring the library to people who live all the way across town or might not have access to consistent transportation.”

The traveling library has been a popular and visible addition since it first hit the road; the program has been going on for so long that the current Bookmobile is the library’s second one, and has been making the rounds through Monroe Township since 2105.

The library on wheels has allowed countless residents of all ages to get a library card, conveniently return library materials, ask reference questions and check out its loads of books.

During the pandemic, the Bookmobile’s services were essentially limited to drop-offs and patrons weren’t allowed to enter the bus.

“We weren’t operating to full capacity,” Mikulich said. “It’s really exciting that people are allowed to come back on the Bookmobile and browse and feel safer for longer periods of time. People have been really excited, I think, because it’s a sign that things are returning to normal.”

She hopes that the Bookmobile continues to delight patrons who are already fans, as well as introduce more people to the mobile services it can bring directly to their neighborhoods in expanded access to the library.

Its July calendar is brimming over with local visits, with stops at Rossmoor, Monroe Manor, Greenbriar, Gloria Lane, Cherry Blossom Drive, Kiddie Corral, Mill Lake School and more.

While not all stops are open to the public—the Bookmobile’s visits to adult communities tend to exclusively cater to residents—its publicly posted schedule on the library’s website denotes which stops are open to all.

For those who’d like to have the Bookmobile make a visit to their neighborhoods, offices, daycare centers, business or anywhere else in town, Bookmobile fans can request a stop. While not all request can be honored, Mikulich encouraged Monroe Township residents to suggest a location or event where the mobile library would be welcome.

The Bookmbile’s increased access to the public means it’s showing up in more places, and there are a few highlights that Mikulich is especially looking forward to. Its July 21 visit to Mill Lake School from 6:15-8:15 p.m. “is likely to get an ample turnout,” while the “weekend special event” at Thompson Park July 31 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. promises to be a great time.

And with Monroe Township’s National Night Out coming back this Aug. 3 after last year’s cancellation, the Bookmobile will be there to celebrate the return of a yearly event that aims to foster positive relations between police officers and residents.

It is that increased visibility that Mikulich hopes will help the Bookmobile reach a wider audience and find even more fans to bring some bookish joy to. 

“People are just very happy to see that we’re returning to normal services,” she said. “We were definitely a part of the community and a routine for a lot of people, and they missed that constant. And we missed seeing the same patrons every time we stopped by.”

Visit for more information about the Bookmobile, including its schedule and forms to request a stop.

Monroe Township Public Library's Bookmobile is back in service.
The Monroe Township Library's Bookmobile is back on the road for the summer.
The Monroe Township Library's Bookmobile is back on the road for the summer.
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