From The Pew Charitable Trusts:
The van comes to a stop just as it reaches the hens. A bleating lamb is the first to greet Sandra Hennessee as she opens the van door and lets in the midday sun.
To get here, on an Amish farm in rural western Kentucky, Hennessee headed west from the small town of Mayfield and drove for miles on a two-lane road, passing churches, farms and open fields. With every bend and bump in the road, the wooden shelves inside the 27-year-old van creaked. With every stop, the hundreds of plastic-wrapped and paperback books on the shelves shifted.
Now on the farm, a woman dressed in a floor-length blue skirt, a black jacket, boots and a bonnet climbs inside. “Hi, honey,” Hennessee says. “What can I help you find?”
As the Graves County Public Library bookmobile librarian, Hennessee says she serves some of the most isolated areas of her community. She delivers books to some of the loneliest widows and some of the poorest children, but, according to her, “it’s not really about the books.”
“I’m a trash taker-outer, I’m a mail-getter, I’m a mechanic, I’m a social worker, I’m a snake killer,” she said. “You do what needs doin.’”
Hennessee, 51, started doing this job in 1995, when bookmobiles — miniature, mobile libraries in the backs of walk-on vans — were in their heyday. At the time, there were nearly 1,000 operating across the United States. Now, there are fewer than 650, according to the most recent data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a grantmaking and research arm of the federal government.
Link to the rest at The Pew Charitable Trusts