It's a Bus? It's a Van? It's the Bookmobile!

September 27, 2018 | Amena

Comments (2)

Yes, you read that correctly - the Toronto Public Library offers bookmobile service throughout the city (28 neighbourhoods to be exact) to areas that are not close to library branches. The goal of a mobile library service is to provide greater access to library services and promote equity.

Mobile libraries have been around the city for decades before amalgamation:

Scarborough Public Library Bookmobile 1950s
Scarborough Public Library bookmobile (1950s) Photo credit: Toronto Public Library Digital Archive
NYCL Archives Photos No. 96 One of the first North York bookmobiles 1954
One of the first North York bookmobiles (1954) Photo credit: Toronto Public Library Archives
York Township Bookmobile 1947
York Township bookmobile (1947) Photo credit: Toronto Public Library Archives 

If you've never seen the bookmobile out and about it comes in a couple of varieties:

Bookmobile sprinter

Bookmobile 2015 in the Park

And if you were at Word on the Street this year you may have seen the latest model:

New Bookmobile

Many families find their visits to the bookmobile to be magical. Imagine stepping into another world for an hour or two and finding yourself surrounded by books. Yes, there are also DVDs and CDs and magazines among other materials; but you are primarily in the company of books.

If you’ve checked out the local branches in your area maybe it’s worth considering a special trip to a bookmobile stop. And if you want to make it a real adventure head out to Ward’s Island on a Saturday morning to catch the bookmobile in action. Little ones who love things that go will get to experience public transit, a ferry, and a fascinating bus where they just might find their next favourite read.

And if a trip isn’t feasible you can still introduce children to the world of mobile library services with these books:

Miss Dorothy and her Bookmobile

Miss Dorothy And Her Bookmobile by Gloria Houston

Library on Wheels

Library On Wheels: Mary Lemist Titcomb and America's First Bookmobile by Sharlee Glenn

Waiting for the Biblioburro

Waiting For The Biblioburro by Monica Brown

My Librarian is a Camel

My Librarian Is A Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around The World by Margriet Ruurs

Wild About Books

Wild About Books by Judy Sierra