Library supporters and media are invited to discover Madison’s new mobile library, the Dream Bus! The grand opening celebration will begin at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, at the Kennedy Heights Community Center on the city’s north side.
The event will include tours, snacks for visiting youth, and giveaways. A ribbon cutting and remarks will begin at 3:45 p.m.
The Dream Bus is a collaborative project of the Dane County Library Service, Fitchburg Public Library and Madison Public Library. The program will operate solely on private support for its first four years, with a goal of inclusion in Dane County and City of Madison budgets in the following years.
The idea for the Dream Bus came about after the Dane County Bookmobile piloted regular visits to the southeast side Owl Creek neighborhood in 2016, and saw astounding results. However, the Bookmobile can only haul bins of materials; it’s not a vehicle that patrons can enter and use, like the Dream Bus.
The Dream Bus will offer library collections, exterior programming space and free Wi-Fi to five under-resourced neighborhoods weekly:
Vera Court/Kennedy Heights
Park Edge/Park Ridge (near Elver Park)
Librarians will circulate books, provide library cards, fulfill holds and host early childhood activities aboard the Dream Bus.
The Dream Bus staff was hired in March, and is currently training and getting ready to take the vehicle out on the road. The team consists of two Dream Bus Clerks and one Dream Bus Library Assistant:
Jacqueline Stevens, Dream Bus Clerk – Jacqueline is originally from Chicago and has lived in Madison for several years. She worked in home health care with residents on Allied Drive. Jacqueline believes in always having a safe place to imagine and dream and reinvent yourself — the first step to being happy and successful, whatever road you choose to pursue in life.
Ricardo Marroquin, Dream Bus Clerk – Ricardo is a returning student earning his HSED/GED diploma at the Madison Area Technical College South in Spring 2017, and currently a student of the UW-Odyssey Project. He holds a ServSafe certificate from the National Food Service Association. Ricardo is passionate about lifelong learning and helping people in his community. He is fluent in Spanish and English language; enjoys going on long walks with his tricolor Sheltie, Abby; roller skating, and biking.
Amy Winkelman, Dream Bus Library Assistant – Amy has worked in mobile library service for nearly eight years. A proud new mom, she enjoys spending time with family, tinkering with bicycles and reading books from lots of different library sections. She is passionate about access to public libraries and loves connecting people with library materials they’re excited about!
View the Dream Bus’ April and May schedule here.
Colorful, action-packed artwork on the Dream Bus’ exterior was created by Wisconsin artist Rodney Lambright II, who describes himself as a storyteller, illustrator, writer and animator. Lambright was also the Artist-in-Residence in the Madison Public Library’s Bubbler for January and February.
The Dream Bus was funded with a $263,000 lead gift from the Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Foundation. Additional support comes from Alliant Energy Foundation; The Evjue Foundation Inc., charitable arm of The Capital Times; Dick Goldberg; Madison Community Foundation; John Reindl; and the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation.
Multi-year support comes from Madison Public Library Foundation, Madison Public Library, Dane County Library Service and the Oscar Rennebohm Foundation.
These gifts fund the purchase, design and outfitting of the Dream Bus; new staff to support the outreach; collections and programming; and vehicle maintenance, gas and insurance costs.
The total project cost for the Dream Bus is $607,755. The foundation is always accepting donations toward Dream Bus programming and operations costs. To make a contribution, visit the foundation’s Donate page, select “Other” under Designation, and enter “Dream Bus” in the field that appears.