April 11 is National Book Mobile Day. Does your library have a bookmobile? Have you ever used it or seen it?
My last bookmobile experience was in the early 1970s in University City, San Diego, CA. It was replaced by a heavily used storefront branch. The current 10,000 square foot branch opened in 1978. San Diego Public Library ceased it’s bookmobile operation in 1997 because of diminished usage and worn-out bookmobiles. San Diego County Library still operates two bookmobiles in East and North County.
The James Madison Regional Library in Central Virginia, still operates a bookmobile that serves Albemarle County and Charlottesville. “The Bookmobile has its own collection and carries 1800 to 2000 books to each stop. Patrons may place holds on materials and pick them up at their respective stops. Patrons may also request materials on particular subjects and we will bring a selection to the patron’s stop. The walls are lined with shelves of books that include fiction and nonfiction books for adults, teens, and children, as well as some books cd, and play aways. Included are mysteries, fantasy, biographies, cookbooks, history, and folk and fairy tales.”
The Pew Charitable Trust recently posted an article on the status of bookmobiles, following one particular book mobile in rural Kentucky. (Kentucky has a long history of taking books to some of its more remote citizens–going back 80 years to the WPA era.)
To read more about bookmobiles, click here.
What is your favorite book mobile story? Join in the conversation and share your story or whether you think that book mobiles are still viable.