Books a Go-Go! Lancaster’s own traveling librarian
Julia gets first dibs on the new Janet Evanovich, while Babette always goes for the newest biography – both ladies are nonagenarians who reside in a retirement home. The kids in more than forty of Lancaster’s Head Start classrooms are all excited for the newest installment in the Captain Underpants series. Meredith Hendrix-Jackson – one of two Lancaster bookmobile drivers, librarian extraordinaire, and deliverer of dreams, romance, and literary access to those who are otherwise unable to connect – spends her days driving across Lancaster County, serving all of us by educating our little ones and connecting with those of us who would otherwise be isolated.
For over a year, Meredith has worked as an outreach librarian, driving a (long overdue or replacement) 17-year-old bookmobile to retirement homes, Head Start schools, Amish farms, and neighborhoods that would otherwise not have access to the world of books. “Through these books, my clients can meet new people, discover new things, and learn English as a second language,” Meredith says. “For stationary people, reading is a good way to travel.”
Meredith understands the power of a story to transform reality. In college, she majored in theater and has worked at the Fulton in the props department, but books always called to her. She was, “raised by libraries, proud of [her] library card, and always friends with the librarian.” Books expanded Meredith’s own world as an adolescent growing up in Arkansas. Now, she is sharing her world-expanding experience as the bookmobile makes it scheduled stops throughout our county.
Every month, thousands of Lancastrians depend on Meredith and our aging library bookmobile. Residents of Lancaster Country were generous during the Extraordinary Give this past November, and donated $6,000 towards the $165,000 needed to buy a new bookmobile. But more is needed. Just like so many in our shared home need Meredith and her books, her passports to discovery.
By Marian Pontz