“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
Reading is the gateway to other worlds and the key to educating ourselves. It can be a method of relaxing and escaping the troubles of our lives. Reading can also make our ambitions soar and push us to reach beyond anything we dreamed we could do or be.
It is easy to look at mobile home park ownership as merely a business, a means of income, and a straight-up numbers game. However, what if you looked at it as an opportunity to impact the members of the community that you are building? These are people who could forever be affected by the way you decide to organize your mobile home park.
A mobile library would be a great way to positively impact your tenants by making reading and books easily accessible. It could also foster a sense of community and provide a place for your tenants to come together and learn more about each other.
Let’s take a look at the purpose of a mobile library, and then explore a few different ways you could incorporate one into your mobile home community.
Why do people use mobile libraries?
From buses to donkeys, people around the world are using their creativity to find new ways to bring the joy of reading to others.
A husband and wife team built a library to bring reading to children in remote parts of Colombia. They transport their books using only a donkey.
Carrying books on the back of his horse, a man in Indonesia has made it his responsibility to see that learning is available to his less fortunate countrymen.
One mobile children’s library in Mongolia even has a camel to cart it around from one nomadic community to the next.
The most common mobile library we see around the world is simply a van filled to the brim with books.
The whole idea behind a “mobile” library is bringing books to people who might not otherwise have access to them by adapting to their community and what is available to them. This idea can easily be applied to a mobile home park community by adapting what you already have available to you.
What is available to you?
Maybe a good place to start is to just walk around your mobile home park and see what you already have to work with. Is there a mobile home sitting vacant? Maybe you’ve tried to rent it without any success. Or maybe somebody is ready to vacate theirs and it would be a good time to turn it into something other than living space.
Vacant homes and lots
A mobile library would be a great way to use an empty home! The structure is all there. Just clear the space and add some shelves and you’ll be good to go! (Okay, it might take a bit more work than that, but still, it’s simpler than starting from the ground up).
Or maybe there is a vacant lot that you could use. As we said before, many, many mobile libraries are actually vans that have been gutted and filled with shelves for books. A vacant lot would be a perfect place to park your “bookmobile”. This would also be a great way to reach your extended community, as it would give you the ability to bring those tools of learning to different areas of your city.
Does your mobile home park already have a community center for its residents? If so, think about the ways it is already being used. Is there an empty room you could use? Or maybe a library would be a better use of space than something you’ve already got going on in there. Either way, using a room in a community center would be a straightforward way to get your library up and running.
Maybe you just don’t have the space for a library that houses hundreds of books. Don’t feel discouraged. There are still options for you! The cutest idea we’ve come across so far are little libraries that are about the size of a birdhouse. Inside is usually one or two shelves with a few carefully selected books.
These tiny libraries take up no more space than a mailbox, and you could fit one pretty much anywhere you like. We love this idea for mobile home parks that are filled up, or that have their homes very close together. You could even have a bunch of these sprinkled around your park! This might be the simplest of the options we’ve discussed and would probably be the easiest to implement on a small budget.
Consider who you are trying to reach
As you look at your options for implementing a mobile library into your mobile home park, don’t forget to take a moment and consider who will be benefiting from it. Do you own a senior citizens community? Children’s books probably won’t be the biggest draw for them (unless visits from grandchildren are a common occurrence!) Maybe there are many school-aged children among your tenants. Providing reference books that would be useful in their studies might be worthwhile.
If you decide to use the little libraries on posts, maybe consider putting one low enough for the little children in your community to reach it themselves. They will love the independence and might read more often because they can do it all on their own.
Whether it’s the books you include or the color you paint the walls, make sure you are taking into account who will be using your mobile library.
Remember the end goal
Maybe your “mobile library” won’t actually be mobile. Maybe it will just end up being stationary. Based on what’s available to you, this might happen. But don’t let that stand in your way!
Remember, the whole idea is to bring reading materials to your community. If you have accomplished that, then you have captured the spirit behind a mobile library. And that’s the most important part.
A mobile library is just one way to stand above the crowd and give your residents a vibrant, fun community. Check out our list of pros and cons before deciding what other amenities to offer your mobile home community residents.