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Today's Family Magazine

Madison Library wins national grant, adding outdoor video gaming to bookmobile

Mar 02, 2021 11:39AM ● By Today's Family

Madison Public Library was named the sole recipient of the national $3,000 "Light the Way: Outreach to Underserved" grant to engage teens in area mobile home parks with bookmobile visits that include outdoor video games and snacks.

"We are so thankful and excited to receive this award," said Melanie Lyttle, Madison Library public services department head.  "For many of our young people, our bookmobile is their only connection to the library.  We are so excited to break the ice and show them the library is a fun place with great items to check out and helpful people who care."

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) announced Madison as the winner of the ALSC/Candlewick Press grant, noting Madison's bookmobile drivers' observation of how young people, often home alone after school, stop by the bookmobile for social interaction but are reluctant to check out materials.

The grant will allow the library to provide snacks and outdoor video game play on an inflatable screen, encouraging a fun library connection and an introduction to video game tie-in materials such as Fortnite and Minecraft books.  The hope is this will open the door to the diverse materials the library offers including driver's ed cones, games, laptops, literature, movies, music and wi-fi hot spots, Lyttle added.

Madison's bookmobile, nicknamed "Gus the Book Bus," makes multiple stops throughout the community including frequent visits to local elementary schools.