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National Bookmobile Day: April 13

SDCL's two bookmobiles help bring library services into the unincorporated areas of San Diego County.

Meet the SDCL bookmobile staff

Valerie

José (Luis)

Gerardo
More about the bookmobiles

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Meet the Bookmobile Staff

Valerie Taylor

How long have you worked as a bookmobile driver?
5 years

How did you become part of the bookmobiles?
I was a teacher but before that I was a school bus driver. I wasn't teaching anymore but I had a license for driving buses and I liked driving. I thought it was a good combination of driving and books.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I think if you work for the library you like people so I enjoy our regular patrons. One of the perks is when they request items because I get to see what things the library has that I usually might not get to see. I get new ideas for what kind of books I want.

What is your least favorite part of the job?
Well, some of the driving is difficult, especially now that we have a much larger vehicle. Sometimes they want us to go places or park at places that are difficult. It makes my job challenging, but difficult.

Do you have a favorite bookmobile memory or story?
When we were bringing the bookmobile to San Diego from North Carolina, we went through one of the border checkpoints in Texas. They said, "Oh wow, you come a long way with your books!"

If you had to describe your job in one word, what would it be?
Interesting.

What is your favorite service that the bookmobile offers?
Requests. The customers really appreciate being able to get anything from any County library and I enjoy seeing what they get.

What services would you like to see the bookmobile offering in the future?
I can't think of any; we already offer materials and computer access.

What's different about the bookmobile than a regular library?
We have to be more customer-service oriented because the collection is small and you need a one-on-one interaction with all customers. We have more contact with our patrons than you might have when working in a larger library.

What do you think would surprise people about the bookmobiles if they haven't been on one recently?
How nice our books are and how the new bookmobile is so beautiful. Many customers are astounded by how many books we do offer; there's just so much variety.

What do you like to read?
Before I started working here, I was solely a fiction reader. Since I've been on the bookmobile, I have started reading a lot of non-fiction.

José (Luis) Damian

How long have you worked as a bookmobile driver?
About 5 years

How did you become part of the bookmobiles?
I was promoted.

What is your favorite part of your job?
Helping different ages and ethnicities.

What is your least favorite part of the job?
When I don't have the proper vehicle for the job.

Do you have a favorite bookmobile memory or story?
Being part of the Christmas parade.

If you had to describe your job in one word, what would it be?
Desirable.

What is your favorite service that the bookmobile offers?
Its convenience to the communities.

What services would you like to see the bookmobile offering in the future?
More visits to the communities.

What's different about the bookmobile than a regular library?
The mobile library goes to the communities.

What do you think would surprise people about the bookmobiles if they haven't been on one recently?
The technology upgrades and the selection.

What do you like to read?
Fiction and nonfiction.

Gerardo Vargas

How long have you worked on the bookmobile?
Approximately 3 years.

How did you become part of the bookmobiles?
Prior to joining SDCL's North Mobile Branch, I worked at Chula Vista Public Library, National City Public Library & San Diego Public Library.

What is your favorite part of your job?
Seeing our customers' (young and old) smiles when our bookmobile arrives at their location.

What is your least favorite part of the job?
The bad drivers we come across on the roads.

Do you have a favorite bookmobile memory or story?
"The Snowmobile": A couple of years ago on Valentine's Day, we encountered an unexpected blizzard near Palomar Mountain. We were stranded in the middle of the road for 5 hours. Our cell phones didn't work and it took us a while to notify our supervisors. Finally, a Good Samaritan from the Forest Service assisted us. We thought we were going to have to spend the night in the vehicle. The worst part is that Luis forgot to bring the chocolate dipped strawberries.

"Our Bestsellers are Green and Round": When our bookmobile is in repair and we provide service with a van or pickup, some people in the North County assume we are selling avocados. Thus, we have discontinued the use of sombreros.

If you had to describe your job in one word, what would it be?
Exciting!

What is your favorite service that the bookmobile offers?
Our bilingual outreach to the community.

What services would you like to see the bookmobile offering in the future?
RFID capability to expedite checkout at busy locations.

What's different about the bookmobile than a regular library?
Our intimate setting allows us to establish a closer rapport with our customers and get to know their reading, listening and viewing preferences. Also, each day is unpredictable so we never know what adventure we'll encounter.

What do you think would surprise people about the bookmobiles if they haven't been on one recently?
The variety of materials we carry, i.e., Adult, Teen and Children books, large print, audio books, music CDs, DVDs and magazines. Not to mention, our 4 public computers and printer.

What do you like to read?
Since I have enough suspense, drama and romance (just kidding) in my life, I prefer to read nonfiction.



The County of San Diego and the San Diego County Library disclaim any responsibility for the accuracy of the translations.
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