Mayor Chris Beutler announced that Lincoln City Libraries’ new Lied Bookmobile will be in operation soon. The new bookmobile was unveiled Thursday at an event at the Eiseley Branch Library recognizing the Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries, the Lied Foundation Trust and other donors. The new bookmobile will run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and includes other environmentally friendly features.
“CNG is one of the cleanest fuels to burn,” Mayor Beutler said. “It does cost more to manufacture a vehicle to use CNG, but they are generally much less expensive to operate. In the case of our new bookmobile, we have an agreement with Black Hills Energy that sets our fuel price at the equivalent of $1.49 per gallon for the next year. CNG is cleaner and cheaper, and those are important factors in demonstrating the value of our initial up-front investment over the life of the vehicle.”
The CNG bookmobile cost about $312,000 to manufacture, about $50,000 more than a diesel version. Library Director Pat Leach said it’s estimated that the additional investment will pay for itself in fuel savings in about four years. In addition to $50,000 from a federal energy grant, a $100,000 gift from the Lied Foundation and other private donations helped to fund books, an endowment, and other “green” features such as interior and exterior LED lighting, carpet made from recycled materials and three skylights to allow for natural light in the cabin.
The Lied Bookmobile replaces one that had been in operation for about 20 years. Other funding sources included $150,000 in City Keno funds and $20,000 from Lancaster County.
Leach said the bookmobile will be on the road five days each week, with scheduled stops at 30 locations, including child care and senior facilities in Lincoln and 11 communities in the County.
“The bookmobile provides individualized service to a diverse population,” Leach said. “Our customers will be very well served by the new Lied Bookmobile, and I think they will be delighted with all the new features.”