A new resource in Nichols means local residents won’t have to travel 11 miles to the Ridgway Memorial Library in Shepherdsville to check out books.

The Bullitt County Public Library board unveiled the Nichols Easy Access Library April 27. The remote drop-off and pickup point, which is on the front porch of Nichols Elementary School, consists of a drop-off bin for books and 10 key-code controlled boxes.

“The Nichols area is fairly isolated,” said Randy Matlow, director of the Bullitt County Public Library. “You’re going up and over the hills to get to anywhere. So there was interest to get better library service out there.”

Local residents who have a Bullitt library card can reserve up to five books, CDs and DVDs from the library system at a time by calling 543-7675, Ext. 9 or by going to the library’s online catalog at pac.bcplib.org.

The items will be put in the boxes on Monday and Thursday evenings, and once the items are delivered, the patrons will receive phone calls or e-mails notifying them that the materials are ready for pickup, Matlow said.

Library patrons will have two days to pick up the items. They will use the last six digits of the barcode number on their library cards to open the appropriate box.
The usual due dates apply to the Nichols’ check-outs, he said. Books are lent for two weeks; DVDs and CDs for one week.
Matlow estimates the service could help 150 to 200 households in the western Bullitt area.

Nichols Elementary librarian Phyllis Breuer called the new service “marvelous.”
“We have a large segment of people who have a lot of transportation issues, so this is going to be a blessing for them,” she said. “I think they are going to find it a tremendous experience.”
Breuer is especially looking forward to students using the service during the summer, when the school library is closed.
Brochures will be distributed throughout the school and to area residents about the new service, Matlow said.

The library board considered renting a small Nichols home to house a library and partnering with the Nichols Elementary library, but those options didn’t seem practical, he said.
To his knowledge, only one other county in Kentucky — Jessamine County — has a similar “easy-access library.”
The Bullitt Public Library paid for the new service with $12,150 through the Library Services and Technology Act, which was administrated by the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives.