Plumas County will soon have another way to access books and library services: a new Plumas County Library bookmobile is scheduled for delivery early next year. Its most pressing immediate mission? To help meet the needs of the Indian Valley community, which lost its Greenville branch library in the 2021 Dixie Fire.
In fall 2021, just a few months after the fire, Plumas County Librarian Lindsay Fuchs applied for a grant to fund a bookmobile. In the meantime, said Fuchs, the Plumas County Library set up a temporary library “in one of the few places we could find post-fire that could house us”: a classroom on the Greenville Junior-Senior High School campus.
The Greenville pop-up branch is located at Room No. 402 at the high school, 117 Grand St. Public parking is on Grand Street, and patrons are asked to make way for buses. Accessible parking is available toward the elementary school. Hours are 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
“Plumas Unified School District has been incredibly generous in letting us do this,” said Fuchs. However, she pointed out that there are restrictions and safety concerns being on an active campus, resulting in the branch’s limited schedule. Community members may not even be aware that the pop-up exists. “it can be hard to spot if you are unaware we are using a classroom,” said Fuchs.
The bookmobile will help alleviate these limitations, providing a more permanent alternative while Greenville rebuilds. “Bookmobiles have a flexibility and reach I think will be incredibly beneficial to the Greenville community specifically but also the county as whole,” said Fuchs. However, she also pointed out that because Plumas County does plan to rebuild the Greenville library building eventually, the bookmobile “will not be the only way to provide library access and service to the Greenville area forever.”
“There are benefits to mobile libraries, especially for rural areas.”Lindsay Fuchs, Former Plumas County Librarian
Once Greenville does have a permanent library building in place again, Fuchs said the bookmobile will potentially expand its coverage area and aim for other hard-to-reach segments of the community. “There are benefits to mobile libraries,” she said, “especially for rural areas where distance, lack of transportation, and weather can be major factors in library visits that a bookmobile can more easily bridge by bringing the library to patrons directly.”
Fuchs said the bookmobile could also be available to provide in-person contact and service if other fires or disasters impact the county. “There are so many directions the library can take the bookmobile in its lifetime,” she said.
Final decisions about the future of the bookmobile after Greenville rebuilds will be out of Fuchs’s hands, however, because she has stepped down as county librarian. Her last in-person day was Oct. 13, but she will continue to work for the county remotely until the next county librarian is hired and trained. With the support of Interim County Librarian Sharon McKay, Fuchs said she will continue to oversee the bookmobile project and grant “until it’s ready to go.”
“I am very excited about this project,” said Fuchs, “and one of my biggest regrets is I will not be here when the bookmobile is first delivered to our county. I think bookmobiles are just another option in making libraries accessible to everyone, which is something I am always working towards.”
The bookmobile — designed on a self-contained Sprinter van chassis — is currently being built by Farber Specialty Vehicles in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Once it arrives in Plumas County, Fuchs envisions it traveling several routes with stops at specific times and days. It would also travel to Quincy to rotate its collection on a regular basis.
Most of the bookmobile project will be paid for with grant funding, said Fuchs, though the grant does require a 20 percent fund match from the county. (That percentage was determined based on the local income per capita level of the library’s service area.) A quarter of the county’s matching funds will be covered by donations, both from individuals seeking to support the Greenville library and from the Help Rebuild the Greenville Library GoFundMe page.
Fuchs reported that the GoFundMe page was started after the Dixie Fire by the El Dorado County library and its associated friends group; now the page, along with other donations, is overseen by the Quincy Friends of Plumas County Library group. The GoFundMe page is located at https://www.gofundme.com/f/please-help-rebuild-the-greenville-library, and more information about the Quincy friends group is available at https://www.facebook.com/quincyfriendslibrary/.
The Plumas County Library also has branches in Quincy, Chester, and Portola. More information about the library and the services it provides is available at https://www.plumascounty.us/546/Library.