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Muskegon Area District Library opens new branch, waiting for delivery of new bookmobile

The new Muskegon Area District Library bookmobile may begin serving rural area of the county in February.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich — The Muskegon Area District Library has a long history offering services from a mobile library. But the 70-pluss year streak ended in 2009 when budgetary issues lead to the decommissioning of the bookmobile.

The end of the bookmobile lead to the opening of what was to be a temporary MADL branch library in Muskegon Township inside the Orchard View Community Education building.

Monday MADL closed the location and opened an all new Muskegon Township branch library at the Quarter-Apple Mall on Apple Avenue.

The branch library like others in the MADL system is offering curbside pick-up of library materials and computer sessions by appointment.

"Our digital services has increased dramatically, and the number of people who need access to the internet has increased dramatically," said Muskegon Area District Library Director Kelly Richards. 

Richards and other MADL staff were busy Monday opening the new branch library. 

If not for COVID-19 community members would have been invited into the new library to celebrate the special event.

"But this is about as grand as we can get during the middle of a pandemic," said Richards.

In February MADL is expecting delivery of its' all new library on wheels.

The new 31-ft.-long, 7-ft.-wide, and 10-ft.-tall bookmobile is being built in North Carolina. It will not only offer library materials to rural Muskegon County residents but also access to the internet and a computer lab.

"It's the perfect time to have that bookmobile, during the middle of a pandemic when we can get that bookmobile out into some of our communities that don't have good high-speed internet," said Richards.

The bookmobile will offer a free WiFi hotspot while it's parked at various locations in the county.

MADL is seeking to partner with organizations that would host regularly scheduled bookmobile stops, and locations where library users would like to see the mobile library park.

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