Former SLIS Student's Bookmobile Receives 2016 Iowa Literacy Award

After more than three years of bringing books to youths in the Iowa City area, the Antelope Lending Library is being honored with a state literacy award.

The volunteer-run library, a mobile collection of roughly 3,000 books, travels from stop to stop and invites children to browse and borrow its selections. The Iowa Center for the Book is honoring Antelope with the 2016 Iowa Literacy Award, in part for the bookmobile's success in helping underserved youths access literature.

Cassandra Elton started the bookmobile while studying library science at the University of Iowa, and she runs it alongside her husband, Braeden Jones. She said the library launched in 2013 and has expanded its weekly stops from six to 16. Sites include mobile home courts, parks and the East-Side Farmers Market in Iowa City, she said.

Elton said the idea for the library came to her while offering after-school programming at Grant Wood Elementary, where students said their families rarely went downtown to the Iowa City Public Library.

”I thought, well, we’ve got to figure out a way to get books to these kids," she said.

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