Special GFPL Foundation Book-a-Thon to Raise Funds for New Bookmobile

Special GFPL Foundation Book-a-Thon to Raise Funds for New Bookmobile

The Great Falls Public Library Foundation’s annual Book-a-Thon fundraising event will take place November 2020 through March 2021.

The annual GFPL Foundation Book-a-Thon raises funds to cover the costs of many programs, services, and materials at the Great Falls Public Library.  Many of the resources enjoyed by patrons of the library would not be possible without this additional funding. Over just the past year, the Book-a-Thon has funded the purchase of thousands of books, movies and CD’s, and supported youth and adult programs like Music in the Library Park, Montana Repertory Theater, Halloween trick-or-treats and Unicorn Appreciation Day.  Donations to the Foundation are tax-deductible. More information about the GFPL Foundation can be found at gfplf.org.

As a special request this year, the GFPL Foundation is asking for donations for a new Bookmobile to serve Great Falls and Cascade County. The current Bookmobile is over 20 years old, required servicing 8 times in 2019, and is approaching the end of its usable life. It has required towing numerous times, and there is concern not only for the cost of keeping the current vehicle limping along, but the safety of staff who operate the Bookmobile as well.

Bookmobile circa 1956

The Great Falls Public Library Bookmobile extends the services of the library to the far reaches of the county, providing resources to 5 towns, 7 assisted living facilities, 7 child care facilities, and 5 Hutterite colonies. The library bookmobile in Great Falls is a source of nostalgia for many (read hundreds of memories here), but the modern bookmobile is the only source of library access for many children, families, and patrons whose travel and mobility is limited.

Bookmobile services in Cascade County began as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project in 1940, and were taken up by the Great Falls Public Library in 1956. Over a thousand items are checked out from the bookmobile each month, with over 2000 patrons utilizing it every year. With service currently limited to just two days a week, each stop gets one visit per month. According to library staff, a new bookmobile would not only be safer—with a more robust chassis–and more cost effective over time, but newer technology would increase the services provided, including WiFi access anywhere the bookmobile traveled and a streamlined process for staff to migrate collections on and off the vehicle. The current bookmobile does not have network capabilities, causing time to be spent on redundant circulation tasks.

A brand new Bookmobile costs $198,000. Our goal for the Bookmobile/Book-A-Thon campaign is $255,000, to include covering the cost of the Bookmobile, the fundraising campaign and start-up operations. An opportunity for businesses and organizations to sponsor the bookmobile is part of the Bookmobile campaign. One $50,000 sponsorship and three $25,000 sponsorships are available for permanent advertising on Great Falls’ smartest vehicle, for up to 20 years of visibility! The GFPL Foundation will soon be releasing a new Book-a-Thon commercial, as well as comprehensive informational materials.

Tax-deductible donations can be made online at gfplf.org

or sent directly to:

Great Falls Library Foundation

Box 742

Great Falls, MT 59403


Current Bookmobile stops:

·        Fort Shaw Elementary

Current ailing Bookmobile purchased in 1999 with the help of an anonymous donation of $135,000

·        Vaughn School

·        Ulm School

·        Wedsworth Library

·        Belt Library

·        Grassland Colony

·        Big Stone Colony

·        Fairhaven Colony

·        PV Colony

·        Hill Top Colony

·        Pam’s Daycare

·        Jill’s Place

·        TLC Learning Center

·        Skyline School

·        Superior Children’s Center

·        St. Thomas Child Center

·        Wee Disciples

·        Grandview Apartments

·        Soroptimist Apart.

·        Brookdale Retirement

·        Golden Eagle

·        Portage Apartments

·        Highgate Retirement

·        Park Place Manor

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