Kern County Library and CAPK Story Tours Bookmobile program to celebrate disability inclusion

July 6, 2021 /

The Story Tours Bookmobile program is proud to support the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 31st Anniversary with a free book giveaway at all Kern County stops (while supplies last).

On July 26, the Kern County Library and Community Action Partnership of Kern will celebrate this important civil rights law that works to ensure all people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.  

“As the County begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Story Tours Project helps to fill the gaps in rural communities by providing the same one-on-one library services to residents that is offered in our physical buildings,” said Andie Sullivan, the Director of Libraries for Kern County. “That social connection, coupled with reading and learning opportunities for families, helps to sharpen the relationship between libraries, infrastructure, people, and books.” 

On May 3, the Kern County Library partnered up with Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) to launch Story Tours, a bookmobile service that brings Kern County Library services to rural communities across the region to ensure readers of all ages can have access to books. 

“Our rural communities face serious challenges and bookmobiles remain vital in connecting residents to library books and resources in areas where people usually live far from a branch and often have limited or no access to the internet,” says Sullivan.

The bookmobile partnership is funded by a generous grant from the Virginia and Alfred Harrell Foundation to support rural literacy.  

“Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK)’s partnership with the Kern County Library, funded by the Virginia and Alfred Harrell Foundation, is an exciting opportunity to bring the joy of reading to all corners of the community in Kern County,” says Pritika Ram, Director of Administration for CAPK, whose initial idea sparked the project. “The Story Tours Project aims to provide access to culturally diverse and relevant books to residents where they learn and live regardless of physical, economic, social, and geographic, or other barriers. ” 

Story Tours Bookmobile visits will provide underserved communities with a chance to reserve and check out books from the Kern County Library system, participate in crafts and story time events and receive book giveaways. 

July’s book giveaways feature the book I Talk Like a River, written by Jordan Scott and illustrated by Syndey Smith (Neal Porter Books, 2020). Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, as well as a New York Times Best Children’s Book of the Year, this picture book for ages 4 to 8 articulates what it is like to be different. In this case, what it is like to live with dysfluency, or stuttering. In addition to picture books, similarly themed middle grade and high school books will be part of the giveaway.