Bookmobiles: Bringing the Books to the Readers

 

Bookmobile horse and cart in Washington, D.C.; Flickr; Crossett Library Bennington College

Bookmobile horse and cart in Washington, D.C.; Flickr; Crossett Library Bennington College

Bookmobiles have been in use for more than a century. I don’t know the date for the photo above, but I’m thinking very early 20th Century.

People in both rural and urban areas still depend on bookmobiles. The mobile libraries are usually housed in a customized bus/rv/truck, and some are in bicycle-pulled carts. It depends on the place. Here in South Dakota, the Siouxland Libraries uses a motorized bookmobile to bring books and materials to area preschools and daycare centers

When I was very young, we lived in a small town of about 300 people in northern Minnesota and travelled to a larger town about an hour away once a week or so for groceries, etc. There wouldn’t have been time for going to the library or money for going to a bookstore. We didn’t have a lot of children’s books at home, yet, so the bookmobile’s book selection expanded my world and helped me learn to love reading.

My bookmobile stopped in front of our house. How convenient is that? Better than waiting for a shipment from Amazon! I remember kneeling or sitting on the floor of the bookmobile and choosing one of my favorite picture books, The Giant Jam Sandwich, by John Vernon Lord.

For more information about bookmobiles check out these sites:

Bookmobiles: A History

American Library Association (see the Bookmobiles at a Glance document)

What was your childhood library like?

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