Holmes about to drop off its library drop boxes

By KELLEY MOHR Staff Writer Published:

A little later than expected, but the Holmes County District Public Library soon will install drop boxes at various under-served locations.

While Director Bill Martino hoped to have the box service up and running by November, a delay in funding pushed that date back.

"The big news is that we did finally receive the federal grant money and with that we did purchase a 2012 Chevy cargo van," said Martino at the library board meeting Thursday.

The Holmes library received $38,853 in federal funds to purchase a cargo van and provide book return stations in under-served locations across the county, with the library to provide a local match of $12,951.

The drop boxes would allow patrons who are unable to travel to a library location to pick up and return materials away from a library location, giving readers across the county more options for returning books between library and bookmobile visits -- especially for the county's large Amish population.

The new book returns will be placed at the Holmes County Training Center in Holmesville, Nature's Food Market in Berlin and at elementary schools in Winesburg, Mount Hope and Charm.

For $20,000, the library purchased a cargo van. The used van, which has 23,000 miles on it, comes with a warranty.

As the allotted grant money for the van was $25,000, the library has $5,000 to use elsewhere in the book-drop program.

In addition to picking up cargo from the drop boxes, the cargo van will also make short runs to nursing homes and similar locations to facilitate the drop-off of library materials.

The library also ordered the five book return boxes.

The boxes should be erected by the end of year, said Martino.

"It's exciting to get the ball rolling on this," he added.

Martino wished to update the board and on the timeline for the drop box program, as he has received many phone calls from residents asking about its progress.

"There seems to (be an) interest, with people calling in and asking about it. People are aware," said Board Member Tom Yoder.

As an action item on Thursday, the board approved the job description for a library cargo van driver.

Reporter Kelley Mohr can be reached at 330-674-5676 or kmohr@the-daily-record.com.

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