ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. — The Hardin County Public Library is taking its services to those who may not be able to make it to a traditional library.

What You Need To Know

  • Hardin County is taking its library services on the road

  • The public library re-launched its Bookmobile last month

  • The Bookmobile works just like any brick and mortar library

  • It serves all ages, from preschoolers in area daycares to elderly people living in nursing homes

The library unveiled its new Bookmobile in March. For over a decade, the library used a Bookmobile to take books to lesser reached parts of the community, but the service was put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past several months, Hardin County purchased and outfitted a new Bookmobile to resemble a mini-library on wheels. Bookmobile librarian John Wittenback has been getting new routes together and reaching out to those who’ve been without the service.

“When I started calling people they were like, ‘Oh yeah, I remember when the Bookmobile used to come,’ so we’re kind of trying to rebuild our audience and get people back in, get used to seeing us back out on the road again,” Wittenback said.

A retired middle and elementary school teacher, Wittenback took the library job hoping to work with kids.

“When I retired, I missed the connections that I had with the kids,” he said. “And so when I saw that library job open up, it was too good to pass up.”

However, the Bookmobile is serving all ages, from preschoolers in area daycares to elderly people living in nursing homes. He visits more rural communities like Colesburg, as well as spots in busier cities like Elizabethtown and Radcliff.

He also delivers books to around 40 people in the community who are homebound.

Wittenback said the relationships he’s been able to build with adults confined to their homes have been a big perk of the job.

“Those are some of my favorite patrons, because it’s a social time for them, and they want to show me their projects and what they’ve done to the house and their quilts they’re working on, and they like to bake little things for me,” Wittenback said with a smile.

He takes the Bookmobile out five days a week and notes that it works exactly like any brick and mortar library.

“We can make cards, we can check out books, they can return books,” Wittenback explained. “If they’ve checked out books in the main library, they can bring those back here. If they check out books here, they can turn those in to the main library.”

Hardin County Public Library held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Bookmobile on Wednesday in Elizabethtown and on Thursday in Radcliff.