we love the bookmobile!

In Uncategorized by ami4 Comments

Bookmobile in Blount County, Tennesse. 1943

Once a month, on a Tuesday afternoon, the Annapolis Valley Regional Library’s Bookmobile rolls into Scots Bay. It’s always an exciting day at my house – from the scramble to locate books that need to be returned, to the anticipation of the arrival of books we’ve placed on order, to the celebratory “book haul” spread that takes place on our living room floor after the books are brought home. (I’ve even been known to break out in a rousing chorus of “Oh, oh the AVRL Book-mo-bile’s a comin'”  – the words sung to the tune of “The Wells Fargo Wagon” song from The Music Man.)

Today’s bookmobile visit was extra special because AVRL artist in residence and cartoonist extraordinaire, Mark Oakley was on board. My son J. a budding cartoonist himself, had been looking forward to Mark’s visit all month. J’s big brother, home from his second year at NSCAD took photos to mark the occasion.

j on his way into the Bookmobile.

All aboard!

J, hanging out with Mark Oakley on the bookmobile...

a Mark Oakley original to sit on J's drawing desk. Thanks, Mark!

And a million thanks to the AVRL and the librarians and drivers who keep the bookmobile humming along. We don’t know what we’d do without you!

Last but not least…
Earlier this week I posted a photo on facebook of a Biblioburro (books brought to children via donkeys) in La Gloria, Columbia. Here’s a short video about Luis Soriano, the man who runs the Biblioburro as well as a free library out of his house. I love that he named his donkeys “Alpha” and “Beto.”

Do you have any bookmobile memories to share?

special shout outs in this post go to: the Annapolis Valley Regional Library, and the amazing Mark Oakley. (If you’ve never checked out his work, you really should!)


  1. Robin B

    I was a bookmobile librarian/driver for 17 years starting in the early 1980s. My first ride was a purple Gerstenslager with no a/c (106 in an asphalt parking lot was really fun) and was known to catch on fire a time or two. My second vehicle was a roomier bookmobile we purchased from another library and refurbished. It required double-clutching and the shifting was hell on my shoulder, and also had no a/c but in addition didn’t have much heat. My third one was brand new and was heaven on earth with heat, a/c, and didn’t catch on fire.

    In the early 2000s, I returned to bookmobile service, only as a semi-manager and once again got to enjoy being out and about in the neighborhoods and schools.

    Sadly, we no longer have a regularly scheduled bookmobile but I have wonderful memories of the patrons and kids who came to see us regularly, and the most satisfying is when I’m working on the Circulation desk and the same “kids” (and parents) recognize me from working the bookmobile. Children never forget their bookmobile experiences and that’s a very good thing.

  2. Marie Jardine

    As a kid who grew up on a military base in North End Dartmouth, the Book Mobile was a life line to the world beyond the commissionair’s shack. My mother didn’t drive so when my dad was away at sea I often didn’t get to go too far. Like the Eaton’s delivery van, the book mobile was a regular visitor to the base and I went as often as I could. I used to love the smell of the bus and even the way things sounded different when you got on to peruse the shelves. I am devastated that this is a service that we think we don’t need anymore. The valley is lucky to still have one and the fact that a visiting artist is on board makes this community what it is – the cultural Mecca of Nova Scotia!

  3. Lori

    We were sitting at the table after supper one winter evening in our new (to us) home, when through the window I spied bus lights… in our rural community, that could only mean one thing – a bookmobile! We didn’t know how long it would be there, so we skedaddled out the door as fast as we could. I did not know that that evening’s outings with my elementary-aged children would lead to a new career for me a few years later as a library technician, thanks mostly to the wonderful library staff who took the time to get to know me and my family. Thank you bookmobile staff!

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