Editor’s note: This is a weekly column that provides readers with insight into the happenings of the four county libraries.

If you live or work in Botetourt County, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the Bookmobile traveling up and down the roads, from Fincastle to Cloverdale, and everywhere in between. The Bookmobile is a library on wheels that serves county residents who are unable to commute to any of the other branches of the Botetourt County Libraries. One of the libraries’ goals is to make books and other library materials accessible to everyone, and there’s no better way for us to do that than by bringing those items directly to you!

When you step on board the Bookmobile, you will see that it looks much like any other library. A circulation desk with a computer sits just inside the door, and shelves stocked with a variety of books, movies, audiobooks, and magazines line the walls. A friendly librarian will help you locate and check out books and other materials, and answer any questions that you may have. There is even a small reference section.

A few things differentiate the Bookmobile from a regular library, though. A generator powers the heat, air conditioning, lights, and electrical outlets. Strips of Velcro hold down items on the desk, including the computer, which gets 4G internet access through a USB modem. Slanted bookshelves help prevent items from falling, and bungee cords are tied across the front of the shelves as an extra precaution. The biggest difference, however, is the addition of two captain’s chairs and a steering wheel.

Bookmobile patrons can take advantage of many of the same services offered at the libraries. Sign up for a library card, which can be used at any branch of the Roanoke Valley Libraries, to check out books and more! Items on the Bookmobile check out for four weeks and are renewable if you need additional time. There is no limit to the number of books you can check out.

The Bookmobile contains several thousand items which are swapped out for new ones on a regular basis, so you always have a wide range of materials to choose from. If you’re looking for something not currently on the shelves, you can place holds on items and they will be brought to you the next time the Bookmobile stops by your location. You can also return items from any Roanoke Valley Library to the Bookmobile.

The Botetourt County Bookmobile currently serves the Brian Center, The Glebe, Carrington Place, Carrington Cottage, and the Hollins Mobile Home Park. During the summer, the Bookmobile is used for pop-up story times at Hollins Mobile Home Park, Mill Creek Child Care Center, and the Botetourt Family YMCA. It is also occasionally used for special events, like the Zombie Apocalypse Escape Room held last week as part of the Summer Reading Program, and the Botetourt Farmers Market Kid’s Day this past Saturday.

The Bookmobile has stops open to the public on the first and third Tuesday of each month. You can find it at The Glebe from 2-3 p.m. and at the Hollins Mobile Home Park from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

-Audrey Clark