Library on Wheels Ready to Roll

JCS students now have the opportunity to check out books in their own neighborhoods thanks to our new book mobile! Unveiled last month, the “library on wheels,” as one fourth grader called it, will travel throughout Jefferson this summer giving our students ongoing access to books.

Students at JES and JA toured the renovated bus in March and learned from Ms. Marion Stem, JA media specialist, how the book mobile came to be.

“I’m very pleased with how it turned out,” she says. “It’s much more than what I envisioned! The best part is the children’s reactions. They loved seeing some of their favorite book series on the shelves.”

She got the idea after attending a conference and wondered if it was something the JCS BOE would be willing to explore. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of our board. They were very receptive from the start” she says.

Currently, there are about 2000 books on board with more to come! The checkout process will be simple using book cards that will be removed from a pocket in the back of the books.

“It’s a very easy process to manage,” she says. “I look forward to giving access to and sharing our love of reading with the community. You never know who you might inspire!”

While the project was Ms. Stem's brainchild, it became a truly collaborative effort.

Engineering students under the direction of Mr. Randy Farmer, JHS teacher, designed and helped build shelves that would allow books to be stored and not move during transit, which keeps setup at a minimum for each book mobile stop along a route.

“The dividers are moveable to contain the books no matter how many are on the shelf,” he says. “Students used 3D CAD software to design the shelving.”

Students from the agricultural mechanics class, along with Mr. Cody Jordan, JHS teacher, also helped build the shelves and paint. “Two classes came together to help complete the bus,” says Mr. Farmer. “It was a joint effort of both classes/subject matters – just like people do the real world. It was a great opportunity for the students.”

Help also came from the community. JA students and families donated books. “It’s been such a big group effort,” says Dawn Hulsey, JA media paraprofessional. “It’s so exciting to see it finished. We've been receiving book donations all year long!” Materials and time also were donated, including lumber from U.S. Lumber and Carter Lumber.

Several hands went into the making of this magnificent project! Special thanks to Marion Stem, Dawn Hulsey, Randy Farmer and students, Cody Jordan and students, Kevin Morris, Bill Thompson, Allison Wheaton, Pat Salsman, Holden Newbury, Tim Booth, Sherry Booth, Brock Booth, Miller Booth, Dylan Sowards, Michael Szantos, Brandon Mosley, Randy Walker, Brian Massie, Steve Boswell, Dustin Warren and the JCS BOE.

The summer schedule for the JCS book mobile will be shared on social media soon! Be sure to follow the school system's social media accounts on Facebook @Jeff City Schools and on Instagram @jeffcityschools to stay in the loop!