Mobile Libraries

So the other day I ran across this term “bookmobile” and, of course, I felt an urgent need for Google.

After my Googling was completed, I discovered that a bookmobile is a van that carries books on shelves in such a way that when you slide open the side door of the van, you can go in and look around and buy books, or check them out if it’s a library bookmobile. It’s like an ice cream truck, but with books. Isn’t that awesome?!


Now, down at the bottom of the Wikipedia article was a list that I found even more interesting: Non-vehicular mobile libraries. For example, in Kenya there is a Camel Library Service, where twelve camels deliver 7000 books daily to rural villages with no other access to books. Camel libraries. They have boxes of books on their backs, and they take them places, and people can read them.


Zimbabwe has a donkey-driven mobile library that also has an internet hotspot and access to multimedia. It’s the Internet Donkey. Someone needs to draw that, okay? Maybe me. Colombia also has a donkey-driven mobile library, called the BiblioBurro. It’s run by a teacher named Luis Serrano and he has two donkeys named Alfa and Beto, and they take books to children in rural villages twice a week.


In Norway, there is a library ship. It’s called the Epos, and it sails up and down the coast with books in its hold. It has room for 6000 books, and carries a captain, two able seamen, three librarians, and a performer. They go to all the teeny tiny twenty-family villages and bring books and cultural events to children. Isn’t that cool?! It’s a floating library.

Epos Library Ship

Also, in Thailand, they have elephant libraries. The elephants are used to take books and IT services to people in villages with no library service. IT Elephant. Also needs to be drawn. Thailand apparently has a lot of different kinds of mobile libraries, including abandoned train cars being stopped at out-of-the-way stations and stocked with books.

elephant library

If you want more information and a, really, stunningly comprehensive look at mobile libraries throughout the century, mainly focusing on the 1930s, including many awesome pictures of old-timey horse and wagon-drawn libraries, check out this website here:


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