Bookmobile librarian to receive award

Pam Palcat, bookmobile librarian for the South Interlake Regional Library out of Stonewall, Man., will receive an award from the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services at its annual conference in Omaha, Neb. in October. (File photo: Adam Peleshaty/The Stonewall Argus and Teulon Times/Postmedia Network)

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Pam Palcat’s work as bookmobile librarian/driver for the South Interlake Regional Library is being rewarded at a conference next month.

The U.S.-based Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services announced earlier this month that Palcat will be one of six Carol Hole Conference Attendance Award winners at the 2019 ABOS Conference, which takes place in Omaha, Neb. from Oct. 22 to 25.

“I’m really excited. I’m looking forward to attending and meeting other bookmobile librarians and seeing other bookmobiles and learning as much as I possibly can,” Palcat told The Stonewall Argus and Teulon Times.

Currently, the bookmobile makes 32 stops over three weeks to schools, Hutterian colonies, community halls and seniors’ homes in Stonewall, Teulon and the RMs of Rockwood and Rosser.

“I love my job. I think the favourite part of my job is meeting all the people that I get to see. The youngest person that visits the bookmobile is under a year old and the eldest patron is 101 years old. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of great people,” Palcat added.

She also travelled to libraries in Minnesota and Wisconsin earlier this summer to see other bookmobiles and to learn from those libraries.

“We also went to a manufacturer and we wanted to see different ideas, different ways that people use their bookmobiles,” Palcat said.

SIRL’s bookmobile, a 2001 Freightliner truck, is the only one in operation in Manitoba and it is showing its age. The library is currently fundraising for a new one and SIRL – Stonewall Branch will host an outdoor night market with local vendors behind the building on Sept. 28 from 6 to 11 p.m. Proceeds will go towards the funding of a new bookmobile.

SIRL head librarian Darlene Dallman doesn’t understand why bookmobiles aren’t popular in Manitoba, believing it to be an “economical source of delivery.” Despite this, she praised Palcat for her work.

“Pam does a phenomenal job. She’s added programming onto the bookmobile, so she has extended the services the bookmobile offers. We’re very excited she’s getting this opportunity to go to this conference,” Dallman said.

In an email to The Argus and Times, Cathy Zimmerman, president-elect of ABOS, wrote that Palcat “impressed us as the only bookmobile person in her area and her want to learn more. She expressed a willingness to take back all information gained and use that knowledge to continue to grow the outreach program.”