Book Mobiles

Escaping the Summer Heat in a Bookmobile

A recent study found that making books available to low-income children had a significant impact on preventing the reading gap.

On NPR this morning, W. Ralph Eubanks reminisces about visiting the bookmobile as a child. He is the author of The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South and Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey Into Mississippi's Dark Past and Director of Publishing at the Library of Congress.

"When I feel the summer heat steaming from the pavement, my childhood memories of the bookmobile provide a cooling sensation to my spirit. This feeling came back last summer on a visit to Chicago when I happened upon a parade of bookmobiles of various ages. There it was: an old Ford grille with big, round headlights that was a dead ringer for the bookmobile that stopped at my house as a child. "

More from NPR.

Bookmobile Gets Second Life as a Bookstore

Lafayette Bookstore in CA has had to close its bricks-and-mortar store, but will keep on trucking as the Bay Area Bookmobile.

"Big Blue" is a bookmobile that was decommissioned from the Ypsilanti (MI) District Library and was acquired and driven to the Bay Area during the week of June 20. The store is having a Saying Goodbye to the Brick-and-Mortar Party Thursday evening that will include "a ritual marking our move from the old to the new--we're doing a bucket brigade to move all the books from the new section of the bookstore into the bookmobile."

The store will have Lafayette Book Store and Bay Area Bookmobile Facebook pages and continue sending out the newsletter. As owner Dave Simpson wrote: "We'll be active there with a schedule of appearances, announcements of author signings and events, and as always, our book recommendations (and you can offer your own!). Come join the conversation!"

Photo Montage: Digital Bookmobile

Cleveland-based digital media vendor Overdrive is taking a "digital bookmobile" on a tour to show off the services Overdrive provides patrons via libraries. The LISTen production team visited the tractor-trailer rig to get some pictures of the traveling show.

The Purple Bus Rolls to A Halt

The Albany (NY) Public Library's bookmobile, a lumbering 36-foot symbol of its efforts to reach deeper into underserved neighborhoods and whose staff helped enroll thousands of first-time library patrons, has been decommissioned.

But library officials stress the final chapter for the 1991 Thomas Built bus, acquired for $12,000 in 2005 from the Utica-area library system, signals a broader victory in its efforts to expand the library's influence throughout the city.

The opening over the last eight months of five new and renovated neighborhood branches -- including the first branch for Arbor Hill and West Hill in 40 years -- they argue, has cut the need for the finicky behemoth piloted and capably maintained for the last five years by librarian Will Takach.

Library Director Carol Nersinger said the bookmobile, whose predecessor was sidelined during budget cuts in the 1970s, was "a temporary measure" until that $29 million project concluded last month.

Will Takach, 32, an Albany native, wasn't just the bus' librarian but also its driver and chief mechanic -- a skill he said he learned in part from reading manuals at the library's main branch as a kid.

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=949090&category=REGION#ixzz0tBlwYEhW

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Driving the Bookmobile

USA Today guest blogger Bobby Harrell is a library assistant in Bowling Green, KY, and he -loves- driving the bookmobile.

It's been a fast seven months since the Warren County Public Library in Bowling Green, Ky., put me in charge of a 40-foot-long, 30,000-pound Blue Bird bus modified to hold almost 6,000 library items, otherwise known as the Mobile Branch. I got the job after the previous bookmobile library assistant retired last year. I was ready to do something different in the library world. And it's been awesome ever since.

Did I mention I get to drive this thing? Backing up in the Mobile Branch requires help from a TV monitor piping images from a video camera attached to the back of the bus. And it took a while to get used to turning and slowing down in a bookmobile. But the view out the windows is worth it. My stops take me past near-endless fields of corn and down country roads that curve around the crops.

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Weapon of Mass Instruction

An artist in Argentina has designed a unique bookmobile. Check out this short video (and understand the odd title above). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFi27PQ2bxo
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Happy National B00Kmobile Day!

Article, photos and video from Mental Floss.

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Navajo Man Earns Title 'Librarian of the Year'

A Navajo Nation librarian was given top honors recently for his contributions to literacy on the 27,000-square-mile reservation.

Irving Nelson, who serves as library program supervisor of the Navajo Nation, was selected from a pool of more than 500 librarians worldwide for the title of Librarian of the Year for 2010.
Reader to Reader, a nonprofit organization based at Amherst College in Amherst, MA honored Nelson for his more than three decades of advocating for literacy on the reservation.

"Irving Nelson is an extraordinary individual," said David Mazor, executive director of Reader to Reader. "His dedication to his library and the citizens that use it is unsurpassed."

Nelson began his career driving a bookmobile on the reservation's rural roads. He also is credited with building an American Indian collection that includes 11,000 books, oral history tapes and land-claim records dating to 1675. Farmington NM Daily News reports.

Biblioburro

Luis Soriano is a man with a mission -- to save rural children from illiteracy. He is a primary school teacher who spends his free time operating a “biblioburro,” a mobile library on donkeys that offers reading education for hundreds of children living in rural villages in Colombia. Twice a week he loads 120 books on his two donkeys, named Alfa and Beto, and rides for several hours into what he describes as “abandoned regions” of the country.

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Behind the Wheel of a Bookmobile

From Book Patrol: It started innocently enough. Over dinner a friend mentioned that he saw a used bookmobile for sale on Craigslist and wished he could by it. That was all the impetus Tom Corwin needed.

He was soon off to suburban Chicago to buy the decommissioned bookmobile. He paid $7500 for it.

Corwin has already garnered the support of the National Book Foundation, the Association of American Publishers and the American Library Association for the project and has signed a deal with Whitewater Films in Los Angeles for the documentary which will be titled "Behind the Wheel of the Bookmobile." The film will also include information on the history of bookmobiles.

Authors that have already signed up in support include Michael Chabon, Dave Eggers, Junot Diaz, Tom Robbins and Scott Turow, with many of them to take a turn at the wheel...here they are.

Follow the tour on the website and on Twitter.

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