Cleveland Library 'cooks books'

Posted June 22, 2009 12:49 p.m. EDT

Cleveland Library administrators said $400,000 worth of books will "cook in the Piedmont's near 100 degree heat" until enough funds can be raised to finish a bookmobile.

The independent library, at 5533 N.C. Highway 42 West in Garner, has bought a 40-foot shipping container to use as a bookmobile. The North Carolina Baptist Men have built shelving for the container, but it needs insulation, air conditioning, heating, lights, wiring and finishing materials.

Putting all that in will take $8,000, library spokesman Ronald Still said in a release.

"No one on staff or the volunteers can tell how long the book bindings will survive with the hot dry container temperatures, since none of them worked in the South before air conditioning," Still said.

The success of the library's book drive has created its need for additional and creative shelving and display space, Still said.

The library has gotten 30,000 books in 10 months and is still getting donations of 1,000 or more books a week, he said. That makes for 3.7 books per county resident, and the library expects to have 6 books per resident by next year.

Once the storage container is converted, it will serve as an off-site self-contained library holding four times more books than traditional bookmobiles. It can be moved by crane and truck.

Converting a storage unit, instead of buying a commercial bookmobile, has saved Cleveland Library about $320,000, Cleveland said.

Donations can be made by calling Cleveland Library at 919-661-6565. The library is open 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Monday and Thursday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday.