Santa Clara County Library District Bookmobile Leader Receives Award

Honor comes from Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services


SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) Supervising Librarian for Bookmobile Services Amytha Willard has been named the 2021 ABOS Karen Hake Outstanding Bookmobile Librarian. She was selected in recognition of her continuous dedication and commitment to the bookmobile profession.

“Amytha is very well known and appreciated across the Library District by her patrons, partners, and colleagues,” County Librarian Jennifer Weeks said. “This award highlights her and the Bookmobile team’s constant, creative efforts to bring the library and all that SCCLD has to offer out to those who face physical and geographic barriers.”

This is a new award from the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of Karen Hake’s service to the bookmobile profession at the Platte County Library System in Columbus, Nebraska.

Amytha Willard has spent 16 years working for SCCLD, all for the Bookmobile program. Today, the Bookmobile has two vehicles that make over 100 stops a month at senior centers, schools, rural areas, and unincorporated portions of the County that are far from any library. From the top of Mount Hamilton to migrant worker camps in San Martin, and Family Literacy Centers to the Santa Cruz mountains, Willard and the SCCLD Bookmobile team can be found all across Santa Clara County on a weekly basis, crisscrossing over 1,000 square miles. 

When SCCLD launched the Lunch in the Library program in 2017 at its two qualifying libraries, Willard looked to extend the program to those communities in South County that needed it most by partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank of Silicon Valley and the San Martin Lion’s Club. The team served healthy lunches to children and offered fun and educational activities for kids, including STEM projects, crafts, and a visit by San Francisco 49ers mascot Sourdough Sam.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Willard and her team developed and implemented BookDash, a contactless home-delivery solution to meet a need for the growing older adult community and for those who could not get to a library during the pandemic due to family illness, injury, medical condition, or disability. The SCCLD Bookmobile team delivers books right to a patron’s front door. BookDash modernized, optimized and streamlined homebound service from 5 patrons to over 60 patrons with capacity to expand the program.

The award will be presented at a ceremony on Tuesday, October 12 during an online Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services conference.