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West Palm Beach's Mandel Public Library adds mobile van

Van equipped with laptops, free WiFi
Posted at 4:15 PM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-05 17:57:14-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach is going mobile!

A $100,000 investment is allowing the library to connect communities impacted by COVID-19 to resources.

Caroline Hill is the executive director of Heart, Health, & Healing, Ministries, Inc.

"Our mission is to empower, educate individuals of low-income families, how to take charge of their health," Hill said.

For her, the mission is personal.

Caroline Hill
Caroline Hill says the pandemic shined a light on the lack of resources in low-income communities.

"I didn't have anything. I was homeless with three kids. I lost everything that I had, but at my time, I didn't have the services. I didn't know anything about it," Hill said.

Now she has dedicated her career to helping others.

She said the pandemic has shined a light on the lack of resources in low-income communities.

"Not being able to find work, not being able to do applications. Everybody is doing everything online now, so without having knowledge of how to work a computer, they give up," Hill said.

The Mandel Public Library in West Palm Beach is hoping to help.

Lisa Hathaway
Lisa Hathaway, director of the Mandel Public Library, says the van will also be equipped with laptops that residents can check-out and free WiFi.

"Librarians aren't social workers, but what we are, are connectors of information, and that's the key," said executive director Lisa Hathaway.

The library was awarded a nearly $100,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services CARES Act to create a Mandel Mobile Library.

"The homework help, the job and career help, connecting people to government resources. Anything you can think of, we are going to go into the community," Hathaway said.

Hathaway said the van will also be equipped with laptops that residents can check-out and free WiFi.

"We know how to find information, and we will find that for you, and that’s really the impact this van will have," said Hathaway.