Friday, December 21, 2012

Bookmobiles


It occurs to me that in this day and age, some of you may have never seen a bookmobile. The one in this photo looks very much like the one that came to our little town, except it was from the Fort Worth Public Library. The check-in desk was up front, next to the driver. You checked out books at the back door. The mysteries, Westerns, and science-fiction were back in that corner as well, two or three shelves of each as I recall. From 1960 to 1965 I was there nearly every Saturday, checking out books by Brett Halliday, A.A. Fair, Leslie Charteris, Zane Grey, Max Brand, Peter Field, Robert A. Heinlein, Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, and many, many others, too many to remember. The bookmobile sure made a difference in my life.

11 comments:

Ron Scheer said...

Great photo. My wife who grew up in an Ohio River valley town lived for the bookmobile. They didn't make it out to the farmland of Nebraska. I didn't walk into a public library until I was a freshman in high school.

Randy Johnson said...

As far as I know, they still have one that runs in my small town. I think mainly these days it runs to senior centers. A few years back, during a tough point when I had to mind what I spent money on, i began using the local library a lot and used to have books sent to my local library from the bookmoblie among others in the system.

Cap'n Bob said...

I have never seen one and I've lived in many, many places over the years.

Chap O'Keefe said...

Interesting. Bookmobiles are still going strong in my region, although they are referred to as "book buses." My daughter and her family use the service, and from its online page I see it has kept up with the times, offering "free internet" and "access to eResources." http://www.aucklandlibraries.govt.nz/EN/About/Pages/MobileLibrarytimetables.aspx

Anonymous said...

We had them in Brooklyn and Queens when I was a kid. I distinctly remember them coming around. We've even had them locally more recently when our local libraries were closed for renovations. They had a bookmobile stationed outside a couple of days a week.

Jeff M.

Steve M said...

They still run the mobile library to the villages around me (my own village has a library so they don't need to come here).

Richard R. said...

I lived in a very hilly area when I was growing up, and the Bookmobile didn't come anywhere near. There was one down in town, but then so was the local library, so if I could get to one I could get to the other, and library had many more books, particularly the Winston science fiction volumes, which I loved.

Shay said...

We still have bookmobiles in our county. I think mostly it serves older residents in small towns where the libraries have either closed or cut their hours severely.

Jerry House said...

Even though there was a library in the center of the town, the seventh grade was stuck in a four-room building on the other side of town and we were visited by a bookmobile on a somewhat erratic basis.

Depending on the budget in any given year, our library was open either two to three days (or half-days) when I was a kid and you couldn't get a library card until you were ten years old. (My card, I remember, was #1048.)

People today tend to take libraries for granted, methinks. A bit before my time, my great-grand-mother's second husband would hitch up a horse and wagon and make the rounds to all the neighbors, picking up books and book requests, and make his weekly trip to the town library, distributing the newly checked out books on his return.

(BTW -- as I may have mentioned before -- my hometown library has been immortalized on THE SIMPSONS: the Springfield Town Hall was modeled on our library,)1891 derWou

Jim Wilsky said...

James,

Just saw this. I'm like you, these had an impact on me at an early age. My older sister and I used to walk to a local park where it would stop. Wednesdays if I remember right. Great memory and photo. - Jim

Kelly Robinson said...

Thanks for linking this, as I'm new to your blog. This makes me nostalgic for something I never knew. I was a kid that pretty much lived at the library.