Gentry County Library Bookmobile History
The Gentry County Library was established by a vote of the people of Gentry County after the Missouri State Library Bookmobile demonstrations in 1953 and 1954.
In September 1955 the five member library board appointed by the county hired Mrs. Irene Groom as Library Director along with Mr. A.D. Miller as bookmobile driver.
On January 1 1956 the Gentry County Library Bookmobile began service to the patrons of Gentry County. The first bookmobile was an old bread truck given as a gift from Independence, MO.
The truck was converted by Mr. Miller, with shelving made to hold the meager collection that the bookmobile started with. In 1970 the Gentry County Library purchased a brand new bookmobile from the
Gerstenslager Company of Wooster Ohio for $17,008.00. With a capacity of 3,500 books it was definitely a much improved asset to the patrons of Gentry County. Every detail was carefully considered during the purchase from
the solid oak shelving to the color of the upholstery and carpeting. It was put into service in July of 1970. The Gerstenslager remained a familiar site in Gentry County undergoing restorative measures in 1997. After
decades of library outreach service the Gerstenslager bookmobile was retired in May of 2006 and on June 1st, 2006 a brand new Bookmobile mini-van has replaced it. The Gentry County Library is very proud to
be one of the few in the state that have maintained its outreach program bringing library resources to communities throughout the county, including nursing homes, senior centers, and retirement communities. The
bookmobile also continues to bring library resources to homebound residents who cannot travel to the library.
This was the style of truck that was donated to be the very first bookmobile for Gentry County! The truck was retrofitted with shelves, loaded with the used donated books that the library started with and visited many patrons throughout the county.