Could bookmobiles make a comeback?

Look! It's a book mobile. Get it?

I’ve been researching bookmobiles today. (As in the libraries in the backs of trailers, not the cool art project in the picture above). Why, you might ask? Because Sunday seems to be the day Luke and I hatch all our best plans and today it was to open a quirky, retro, totally awesome book mobile. So off I went to “research”.

Did you know that the first  mobile library to trot through towns was in 1859 in Britain? It was a horse-drawn cart called the Warrington Perambulating Library… So who’s idea was it to drop “perambulating library” in favor of bookmobile? Just sayin.

Also, in Kenya they have a Camel Library Service. That’s right, camels. How cool is that? The author Masha Hamilton thought so too, choosing it as the background for her novel The Camel Bookmobile.

In Zimbabwe they use a donkey-drawn cart to provide people with not only books, but internet service. Who said modern and traditional technologies weren’t compatible?

In the remote communties of Western Norway they use the library ship Epos.

And in Thailand they use Elephants to deliver both books and IT services. Naturally, as you do.

(I found all this out on Wikipedia, by the way).

Also I came across these delightful photos of bookmobiles in America. How much fun are these Minnesotan children having in 1917?

And don’t you love the modern/stylish layout of this converted vintage Airstream trailor?

They like their bookmobiles in Japan too.

And can we say posed much? But I don’t care, because you know they’re totally a bunch of super intelligent, super cool bookworn chicks. (I like to think they’re reading The Feminine Mystique.)

We never had a bookmobile where I grew up, but hearing other people talk about them is sounds like they generated almost the same amount of excitement as when the ice cream truck came down your street.

Do y’all have fond memories of the bookmobile coming to your town?

Have you read any books that feature one? Big Stone Gap by Adrianna Trigianni comes to mind.

  1. Claire said:

    I’d go to your book mobile as long as you dressed, talked and walked like Iva Lou.

  2. Amanda said:

    If they ever did, I’d be the first one to sign up for a drive. Those beat ice cream truck drivers any day.

    • Amanda said:

      sorry, not drive, job

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