Books on Board! Celebrating National Bookmobile Day by Stacey Nordlund
The concept of mobile outreach is not new, nor is it likely to decline or disappear. Even as the role of libraries changes and new technologies replace outdated models of service, the idea of bringing the library to the people instead of waiting passively for library patrons to enter our institutions remains vital. The first bookmobile in the United States (in the form of a horse-driven wagon!) originated in April, 1905 by Mary Lemist Titcomb, a librarian in Washington County, Maryland. As noted by Titcomb, “No better method has ever been devised for reaching the dweller in the country. The book goes to the man, not waiting for the man to come to the book.” Over a century has passed since this statement was made, and yet this is not a far cry from our current goal of ensuring library access to all.
This is coming out of the queue a little late for National Bookmobile Day, but it remains important and relevant and generally awesome.