Today is National Bookmobile Day! A bookmobile is a truck, van, or trailer serving as a mobile library. Today we honor the nation’s bookmobiles for providing access to books, electronic equipment, and information to the communities, as well as the professionals that provide these services. There were 696 bookmobiles as of 2011, and bookmobiles continue to be an important part of library services.
The first bookmobile started in 1905 by Mary Lemist Titcomb in Maryland. Titcomb saw a need to expand library services beyond the main library location and into homes across the rural area. She then created a “Library Wagon”; a horse-drawn wagon that visited farms and schools. The first motorized bookmobile started in 1912, and made further visits to senior citizen centers and schools. Today, National Bookmobile Day is coordinated by the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS), the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS), and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL).
For over 100 years, bookmobiles have provided library services to those who may not otherwise have access to one. Celebrate National Bookmobile Day by visiting your local library or bookmobile to grab a new book to read and thank your community staff!