By Carson Gerber
---- — Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region is paying $20,000 for a logo on the new Kokomo-Howard County Public Library bookmobile, called Discovery II.
College and library officials unveiled the newly-painted bus Friday, which shows a bear driving a jeep with an Ivy Tech banner flying from the back.
“Ivy Tech is excited to support the bookmobile through this unique ‘naming rights’ opportunity with the library,” said Ivy Tech Kokomo Chancellor Steve Daily. “Our community commitment is showcased in the eye-catching and entertaining graphic that cover the new bookmobile. It’s a rolling billboard that will be seen by thousands as it travels around the city and county.”
The library purchased the new $230,000 bookmobile last year to replace the Discovery bus, which was having mechanical problems.
“With maintenance fees, we had to make a decision,” said Mary Baker, president of the library board. “It was breaking down and disrupting our services.”
The library maintains two bookmobiles. Ivy Tech will sponsor the new bookmobile for three years. The other bus, called Adventure, doesn’t have any outside sponsorship.
“The library is funded with tax-payer dollars,” Baker said. “If taxes are reduced, then the revenue to the library is reduced, so we have to be creative and look at different, innovative revenue streams. This is just one example of how we’re trying to be reactive to the economic climate.”
The bookmobile service has been around since at least the 1960s in Kokomo, carrying library materials to schools, daycares, apartment complexes, senior centers and other neighborhoods around the city.
Baker called the library’s new sponsorship from Ivy Tech Kokomo a win-win for both agencies.
“It’s a great marriage of two organizations that have the same mission,” she said.
Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @carsongerber1.