|This adorable bookmobile-shaped brochure from 1952 was to promote service for the library on wheels in the state of Maryland. According to Larry Nix at the Library History Buff Blog, the first traveling bookmobile service in the US actually began in Hagerstown, Maryland in 1905. It was a wagon pulled by 2 horses with enough space for 200 books on the outside and additional space for more books on the inside of the wagon. The driver of the wagon did double duty as the janitor of the library. |
Prior to the bookmobile, there were traveling libraries with small rotating collections of books which were stationed for months on end at convenient locations such as a post office, store or someone's home. This allowed for library service to be extended to rural areas across the US in the late 19th century.
Bringing books to the people has a long legacy around the world, yet it's unfortunate the bookmobile barely coasted into the 21st century before it became roadkill. Call me a sentimental old bibliofool, but I miss having a traveling library on wheels.
Hey Amazon! Give us an eReader shaped like a bookmobile why don't you?