Book Mobiles

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.


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.


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 they are.

Follow the tour on the website and on Twitter.

Redbox for books

A Broken Bookmobile Won't Stop This Librarian

The Beverly MA bookmobile is out of commission, but its librarian is not.

The deteriorating vehicle failed inspection two weeks ago, and Linda Caravaggio has been making the rounds in her silver Nissan Sentra, delivering books from her back seat.

"She's hauling bags around and doing her best," Library Director Pat Cirone said. "She's a tremendous librarian who goes above and beyond."

The bookmobile, a 20-year-old bus that delivers books, tapes and CDs to people who can't get out to the library, needs tires, brakes and rust repairs. "It wasn't just one minor thing," Cirone said. "There's a list."

Rough estimates for repairs are $3,000, which will come out of the city's library budget — not the $70,000 raised so far for a new vehicle, which is expected to cost about $150,000.

The Beverly Public Library has been raising money for a new bookmobile for the past two years. To send a monetary donation, please make checks payable to the Friends of the Beverly Public Library. They can be mailed to the Library at 32 Essex Street, Beverly, MA 01915 or check out the website for more information.

Budget Cuts Bite

Another story on budget cuts, this time in Macon County NC; (scroll halfway down...)

Fontana Regional Library made a request from the town’s non-profit funding pool in the amount of $12,000 for the library system’s Reading Rover Bookmobile service. Since 1999, the Reading Rover Bookmobile has developed pre-literacy skills by bringing monthly story time programs and materials to toddlers and preschoolers at child care locations.

Librarian Karen Wallace said this is the first time funds have been requested from the town specifically for the Reading Rover. The program costs around $475 per day to run 200 days per year. Historically, the program has been funded through grants which have disappeared, she said.

Alderman Bob Scott said that reading is very important and the future of Franklin is the children. “I think it is an excellent program,” he said of the Reading Rover, adding that many countries in war have little educational opportunities for their young people. Scott asked if the Reading Rover could take the place of ice cream trucks and cruise the neighborhoods during the summer months, offering reading materials to the youth of Franklin.

Do you think the Reading Rover could replace the tempting melody of the ice cream truck? Interesting idea...not sure it's plausible.

What [Other] Blogs Should We Read In 2009?

2009 is almost here and we could use some help finishing up out 10 Blogs To Read in 2009 list. This year we'll have 2 lists, one for librarian/library blogs, and one for everything else. We started voting Last Month, but the list is not even close to being finished.

What blogs do you read every day?
What blogs help you learn?
What blogs keep you informed?
What blogs make you laugh?
Who's the best writer out there?

It might help to think of it this way: 'I read many others, but these are the blogs that read even when time is short'

I'm looking for input from as many people as possible so the final list doesn't miss anyone new.

Before your nominate, take a look at past winners, they aren't eligible for 2009:

10 Blogs To Read in 2006

10 Blogs To Read In 2007

The LISNews 10 Blogs To Read In 2008

10 Non-Librarian Blogs To Read in 2008

You can leave a comment below, hit the contact form, or send an email to [email protected].

Have books, will travel: Mobile library brings books to villages in Guam

The Bookmobile is a mobile library stocked with more than 3,000 books. It tours Guam, bringing literature for all ages to students, parents, the elderly and the disabled, said librarian Leonora Cruz.

"There are some branches out in the community but some are too far to drive out to, ... so we bring the library to them," she said. "This week we are in the south and next week we are in the north."

A Different Spin in Guam

The Pacific Daily News reports on how students in Guam are provided valuable service by bookmobile when library branches have been forced to cease operating.

Acclaimed Colombian Institution Has 4,800 Books and 10 Legs

A whimsical riff on the bookmobile, Mr. Soriano’s Biblioburro is a small institution: one man and two donkeys. He created it out of the simple belief that the act of taking books to people who do not have them can somehow improve this impoverished region, and perhaps Colombia.

In doing so, Mr. Soriano has emerged as the best-known resident of La Gloria, a town that feels even farther removed from the rhythms of the wider world than is Aracataca, the inspiration for the setting of the epic “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez, another of the region’s native sons.


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