Recently, and just for fun, I read Kerry Madden’s novel, Gentle’s Holler. I savored every page. The main character, Livy Two, made me laugh and cry and remember my own (very similar) childhood. One of my favorite parts of the story was Livy Two’s relationship with Miss Attickson, who runs the local bookmobile. Did any vehicle generate more excitement on my street – other than the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile or the ice cream truck? I think not.
Coinciding with National Library Week, American communities are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the bookmobile. This traveling library served Anaheim in 1958; it looks like the one that visited my neighborhood some years later.
Image credits: ark.cdlib.org
Did you know there’s actually a camel-drawn bookmobile in Africa that provides books to communities along the border between Kenya and Somalia? One of Kerry’s LJ entries introduced me to this project. According to their website, “Camels bring books to a semi-nomadic people who live with drought, famine and chronic poverty. The books are spread out on grass mats beneath an acacia tree, and the library patrons, often barefoot, sometimes joined by goats or donkeys, gather with great excitement to choose their books until the next visit.”
Wouldn’t you love to deliver books to people who may never have seen a book before? Well, now you can!