On May 16, 2019, the Patrick County Branch Library’s new state-of-the art bookmobile was proclaimed ready for service at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the library in front of a crowd of more than 100 friends and supporters of the library. Blue Ridge Regional Library Director Rick Ward recounted the two-year effort to raise the funds to purchase the new vehicle, noting that this was a real community effort. Former Virginia Governor Gerald Baliles, a Patrick County native who lent his support to the fundraising effort, also spoke. “This is a handsome machine and knowledge on wheels for the citizens of this county, “ Baliles said. “All costs of the bookmobile were paid off last week, and we have enough left over for maintenance and a tank of gas.”
The bookmobile, christened “Miss Lady”, in honor of Lady Louise Clark, the first librarian of the Patrick County Library and its first bookmobile librarian, was welcomed to the library by Branch Manager Garry Clifton and bookmobile driver/coordinator Tammy Cope.
The bookmobile, which cost just over $188,000, was purchased by putting together funds from the Patrick County government, a $25,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a $20,000 grant from the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation and almost $100,000 in donations from individuals, businesses and civic organizations in and around Patrick County. The Blue Ridge Regional Library Foundation led the fundraising drive, including hosting the “Writing Our Region” event in September 2018. This was the foundation’s first major project. The bookmobile is scheduled to begin service early in the summer of 2019 and will be ready to serve Patrick County schools in the fall.