Hillsborough makes books accessible to all with mobile library program – Story

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– Hillsborough County Public Library is hoping to cater to the bookworms who may not have access to materials. Their mobile library program, Library2Go, makes it easy for avid readers to borrow books and rent movies without ever leaving their homes.   

“Our mission is to go to those who normally can’t get to the branch, whether it be physical needs, disabilities, or monetary — they might not have the financial means to get to a branch,” said Deshaun Johnson, a Library2Go employee. 

It’s a fresh take on an old concept that’s been part of the Hillsborough County Public Library for years. The service once known as the ‘Bookmobile’ has been revamped, making it accessible to everyone. 

“So what we do is we actually come inside now, we come to them. So we actually offload a van, we customize, we minimize,” Johnson said. 

Each book is handpicked by the employees. 

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“We know what they’re looking for, we can tell them ‘hey, this person likes this,’ ‘when we go there we like this,’ or ‘we might need more Spanish-translated material for this stop,'” Johnson explained. 

However, the branch experience doesn’t stop at just books. 

“We actually expanded the service to do wireless printing, we do library cards, we even have hot spot availability for them to get on computers,” Johnson said.

Elizabeth is a resident at Freedom Village, a senior apartment community in Tampa and one of the stops for Library2Go. She has been using the mobile library for years. 

“I’ve been coming here since I’m in the building, and it’s really an enormous blessing. I hate when I can’t get to it,” she said.

Without it, she wouldn’t be able to get the books she loves so much. 

“This service from the library really opens our world,” Elizabeth said. “A lot of us are home-bound and we wouldn’t have the opportunity to read. It’s like a breath of fresh air.”

And while some may say reading is a lost art, Library2Go proves that for people like Elizabeth, a good book can make all the difference.

“Keep coming back!” Elizabeth exclaimed. 



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