Visitors to area events may see a pop-up library that showcases resources offered by public libraries in Banks, Jackson and Barrow counties.

The Piedmont Regional Library System has a new truck, known as PuRL, that is being used as a pop-up library to go to community events.

Beth McIntyre, director of the Piedmont Regional Library System, says that PuRL (Pop-up Rolling Library) revamps the book mobile program that was popular in the 1960s that took books out into communities. The modern version of the book mobile has a speaker system on the truck and offers not only books but electronic services offered by the public libraries.

The Piedmont Regional Library System first began taking the pop-up libraries into the communities in 2016 in a Honda Civic. The new truck is an improvement as it has much more space and offers more services.

“We can do anything you can do at the library,” says Kelli McDaniel, regional director and assistant director of the Piedmont Library System. “You can check out books access the Internet and access our Apps.”

Library staff have taken the pop-up library to farmer’s markets, festivals, day care centers and senior citizen’s centers.

“People were surprised to come upon us at day care centers and festivals and events,” McDaniel said

Alicia King, administrative and outreach services coordinator, added, “We want the community to understand all that the library offers. We wanted to bring the library with us and show all that it offers. It offers so much more than books.”

Eight shelves are located on each side of the truck, which also features a sound system. The truck, a Ford 250, also has a large storage area.

The process to get the truck began in 2018 when King and McDaniel attended a conference and met Summit Bodyworks leaders, the company who built the truck. In 2019, the library system received state funds for capital assessment projects. This is when the effort really began to purchase the truck for the book mobile. 

PuRL is used by all 10 public libraries in the Piedmont Library System in Banks, Jackson and Barrow counties

McDaniel says, “PURL is unique enough that people at events will stop and check her out. It connects the staff to the community so that people will stop and meet them and see what the library offers.”

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