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Crockett Bookmobile- a dream realized

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Bookmobile ribbon cutting

By Jan White
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CROCKETT – “My first love was the library,” said Judy Scott, librarian for the J.W. Wootters Crockett Public Library. “Back when I was in college, my major was in library science.”

But life has a way of changing plans. It wasn’t until 1989, when Scott was subbing for school, that Scott had to opportunity to return to that first love. “The librarian at the elementary school decided that she was going to retire. They offered me the job. So I worked for the school library from 1989 to 2002.”

Although Scott explored other employment paths over the years, the love of the library stayed with her. In 2021, the position of library director at the Crockett Public Library became available. “I had a friend of mine come and say, ‘why don’t you apply for the job?’” But Scott had her doubts. “I went home and talked to my husband about it, and he said, ‘What do you have to lose?’ so I applied for it.” A couple of weeks later, Scott heard from the board that she had the job. “I came in running,” she said, “but it’s been great.”

Because she came on board during the Covid pandemic, Scott had some hurdles to cross. “The schools were really put in a bad position because so many children did not have computers or even a way to get to the library. So that’s when I started thinking, Okay, well can we do.”

One of the programs that Scott implemented was the children’s program, a valuable tool for homeschoolers, which gave the children exposure to new teaching concepts and ideas and the opportunity to interact with other homeschooled children. Although the program was recently discontinued for several weeks, Scott said that they had hired a new director for the children’s programming, Courtney Trapp, who will start on March 2. “You know, she only has a little bit under two months to get it going, but we hope to have our summer program up and running soon. I’m hoping that’s going to flourish.”

Scott has high hopes that the bookmobile idea will also flourish. She had spoken to her supervisor, City Manager John Angerstein, who agreed that the bookmobile was a great idea. “So, in one of the board meetings, I mentioned it, and they also supported the idea. My thought was because we had so many kids that were in the disadvantaged communities, it would really help us get the books out there.” Scott said that the school system does what it can, “but so many kids don’t get the opportunity to come into the library.”

One of the things that Scott did was to contact the housing department. Kelley Stotts, Executive Director, thought it was a great idea and said she would get letters out to all of her parents. Another thing Scott had to do was revisit the concept of library cards. “Normally, we ask people to come into the library to get cards. So we ended up creating a paper application to give to her [Stotts] so that she could mail it to her residents. So we’re hoping to get all of that.”

Scott said that one of the library board members suggested that she contact the J.B. and Kathryn Salis Charitable Foundation for assistance. “And lo and behold, they actually gave us enough money that we were able to purchase the entire bookmobile.” Scott praised the Salis Foundation and Jeanne Wootters, wife of the library’s namesake, for being instrumental in getting the bookmobile up and functioning.

On Thursday, Feb. 23, Scott and library board members, employees, Crockett city officials, and other library supporters joined together for a ribbon cutting to officially launch the J.W. Wootters bookmobile, “Books and Beyond.” Be on the lookout for the bookmobile in a neighborhood near you.

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