Ready. Set. Read! New Library Van Connects Communities to Literacy

It’s not just retailers and restaurants that are providing curbside service during the pandemic.

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library Ready Reader program has been providing curbside delivery of its services, as well.

And now, thanks to a funding gift from Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong, the library’s outreach services have a new van to make deliveries easier. It will join the Bookmobile in the library’s fleet of vehicles that brings library services to the community.

The new van will be used to support the Ready Reader program, a monthly literacy program the library provides for all three area school systems. It serves about 100 Title 1 Pre-K and Head Start classrooms monthly in Madison County with books, teachers’ kits, and story time; and focuses on pre-literacy skills that help lay the groundwork for  academic success and help foster a lifelong love of learning. 

“The Ready Reader vehicle is a valuable tool to the children and students of our three public school systems to encourage a love of reading, imagination, and creativity,” said Strong. “In today’s unique learning environment at both the school and home, expanding the reach of important educational tools to our children is another way we can invest in their future.”

“In addition to our 11 locations throughout Madison County, the Outreach Department provides crucial library services to many in our community, including seniors and preschoolers,” said Mandy Pinyan, the library’s Outreach Manager. “This program is one of the most important things the Library does because we are reaching children who may not otherwise come into one of our locations. We are essentially a library on wheels, reaching children at an age when they are beginning to develop the literacy skills they need.” 

The new vehicle replaces its 1996 model, which will be used for other library needs. 

The vehicle will also be used to support other programs once the pandemic has ended to include puppet shows, STEM programs and summer reading. 

(Pictured: Madison County Commission Chairman Dale W. Strong, HMCPL Interim Executive Director Cindy Hewitt, HMCPL Board Member Carla Clift and students from Blossomwood Elementary)