Bookmobile today—Archaeology bus tomorrow

Submitted by Betsy Shirk

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The story of the transformation of the Bookmobile acquired by SGA from the Athens Clarke County Regional Library continues! The Archaeology Mobile Advisory Panel had its first meeting on Saturday, November 10. Joined by about 93,000 fans in town for the UGA-Auburn game, members of the advisory panel converged on Athens from around the state. Members present included Rita Elliott (chair), Tammy Forehand, Barbara Bruno, Betsy Shirk, Michael Shirk, Tom Gresham, Steve Kowalewski, Mary Stakes, and Ellen Provenzano. The meeting was hosted by Mary Stakes at the Carl Vinson Institute.

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Members of the Archaeology Mobile Advisory Panel and the bus.

To recap: the opportunity arose to acquire the bus from the library system for a reasonable cost. It is a 10-year-old vehicle with over 100,000 miles that was checked out by a mechanic and is in good condition. In addition to the modest fee, SGA agreed to provide a workshop at system library branches and at schools in Clarke County.

Members discussed ideas for outfitting the bus as a selfcontained classroom, including hands-on activities or manipulatives. In addition, wrapping versus painting the exterior of the bus was broached. To get an idea of how awnings, plasma televisions or screens for presentations, and pop up tents might be integrated into the design, panel members took advantage of the RVs parked behind the Varsity and made a site visit to check out options UGA or Auburn fans chose. All had awnings of some type and one had a television that folded out from the lower side of the bus.

The group decided to focus on short-term goals to provide the agreed-upon workshops that would target 4th and 5th graders in Clarke County and provide programs to the branch libraries. Next steps include working on a design plan, contacting elementary schools to find out if this type program would be of interest to teachers, program development, and paint/wrap for the bus. Members were given assignments to prepare for the second meeting scheduled for late January 2009 in Macon.

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