Seeking inspiration for the North Olympic Library System’s books-and-more-on-wheels vehicle, Sequim artist Matthew Fleming dug deep, into personal history.
Look for that art as the library system’s Bookmobile, currently in production, hits the road this fall, traveling throughout the community along established routes to offer materials for checkout and other services.
“The Bookmobile graphics were inspired by my earliest memories of libraries — yes, I traveled there by a wagon pulled lovingly by my mom! — and the variety of ways libraries are used by the diverse members of our community,” Fleming said.
The design, library representatives noted, features people of different ages, genders, abilities, races and ethnicities taking part in services offered by the Bookmobile, from borrowing books and digital materials to nontraditional items like a telescope. Some design elements are bilingual with words in English and Spanish.
Fleming, a Sequim-based illustrator and graphic designer, was chosen from an open call for artists issued by NOLS in February. A team of NOLS staff and one NOLS board member based the selection on criteria such as creativity, originality, relevance to Clallam County, and examples of the artist’s past work.
Fleming creates artwork for musicians such as Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Dave Matthews Band, The Avett Brothers, as well as at events, podcasters, breweries and more. Peninsula residents may recognize his work with the logos he designed for the Lefties baseball team and Bourbon West in Port Angeles. (Learn more about the artist at matthewjayfleming.com or by following him on Instagram at @matthewjay.)
Library Bookmobile service in Clallam County began in 1949, but services were paused in 1981 when the retired vehicle was used as the original Clallam Bay Library, before the library moved to a permanent building.
Library officials say offering Bookmobile services again will enable NOLS to provide residents, regardless of their location in Clallam County, with access to information they might not have otherwise.
The Bookmobile is supported in part by the American Rescue Plan Act grant provided through the Washington State Library and the Institution of Museum and Library Services; the North Olympic Library Foundation, and the Port Angeles Friends of the Library.