Bookmobile Serves the Amish

R Hadden Writes: Information on how the Amish
are served by a library bookmobile in
Middlefield, Ohio, is provided by the Associated Press
article in an
article
published in the Canton
Repository
.
You may also want to read other articles and
opinions in this newspaper about the current strike by
employees of the local public library.

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From the Canton Rep

Without movies
and television and videos, the Amish children
particularly look forward to the once-a-week visit.

Ida Fisher waits until the bus is in her Middlefield
driveway, then sends her six children scampering
aboard. They range in age from 11 to 1, and the older
ones help the younger ones choose.

The process takes no more than 15 minutes, and with
the bus still in the drive, five of the children are in chairs
on the family porch engrossed in their finds. As the bus
pulls away, Ida already is reading to her youngest, Mary.

‘‘Reading’s their favorite thing,’’ she says, and
11-year-old daughter Kathryn nods in agreement.

The bookmobile was purchased with a grant from the
State Library of Ohio in 1986. At that time, it made a day
of stops in the Amish communities of Middlefield and
Parkman.

‘‘The kids in the community got together and
discovered that if they gathered on a corner, the
bookmobile would stop,’’ says Jane Attina, who runs
the program. Soon those gathering places became
scheduled stops.

‘‘I had a dream back when we started all this that we’d
have a bookmobile just for the Amish,’’ says Attina.
‘‘We’d fill it with the things they like best, the westerns
and Hardy Boys and inspirational books — no videos or
audios. Maybe someday that will still happen.’’

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