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Bookmobile driver calling it quits after 3 decades on the road

(Sam Penrod, KSL TV)


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DELTA — It's the end of the road for a bookmobile librarian in Millard County. He's delivered books all across the central Utah county for as long as anyone can remember.

In the past 36 ½ years on the job, Dixon Eliason hasn’t even taken a sick day. His upcoming retirement isn’t going to be easy for him or the people he serves.

Every morning, Eliason gets behind the wheel in Delta and drives his office to stops throughout rural Utah.

“We’ve been about 400,000 miles and checked out about 3.5 million books in that time,” Eliason said.

Over the past few decades, he's become well-acquainted with some of Utah's loneliest stretches of highway, bringing books to the residents of some of Utah's smallest towns.

“Our farthest-away stop is Garrison; and there is a little town called Eskdale out by Nevada — (I) go there once every four weeks,” Eliason said.

He started driving for the Millard/Juab County Bookmobile in 1977, and then inherited his current route from his father, Lincoln, in 1986. One of the perks of having this job, Eliason said, is an entire library of books on CD that he can listen to while he’s on the road.

“I’ve never had a hard time going to work. It’s been great and I’ve enjoyed it, every minute of it,” he said.


I've never had a hard time going to work. It's been great and I've enjoyed it, every minute of it.

–Dixon Eliason, bookmobile driver


It’s not because he loves books; it’s the friends he’s made along the way.

“The reason it has been such a great job is because of the people,” Eliason said, “just amazing people and friendships I’ve made over the years. It has been a great reward.”

The patrons who use the bookmobile say Eliason will be missed.

“He’s been wonderful, always great to point out books that are of interest to us and look things up for us. He’s been very, very helpful,” Phyllis Oakeson said.

Teachers say Eliason has been a role model for their students.

“He talks to them, he tries to remember their names without having to look in the book, and he is very personable with them; and you can tell he enjoys what he is doing,” said Kae Starley, a teacher at Fillmore Middle School.

Event:
Retirement open house for Dixon Eliason

An open house has been planned to allow community members to wish bookmobile driver Dixon Eliason a happy retirement.

  • Date: Tuesday, March 11
  • Time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Location: Delta City Library, 26 N. 200 West, Delta, Utah

Perhaps not surprisingly, Eliason will tell you the key to success in life is reading.

“Once they develop a love of reading, I think the rest of the education follows right along,” he said.

Great advice from a man who made a career out of helping others love to read.

Anyone who would like to wish Eliason well in his retirement can do so on Tuesday, March 11. An open house will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Delta City Library.

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Sam Penrod

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