Today is National Bookmobile Day!

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By Carlotta Young, Bookmobile Librarian

Held on the Wednesday of National Library Week, National Bookmobile Day began in 2010. This day recognizes the role of bookmobiles and direct delivery outreach services in fulfilling the mission of libraries.

The Enoch Pratt Free Library launched Baltimore's first horse-drawn public library book wagon service in 1943. This 1945 photograph of the book wagon during a visit to the 1000 block Dallas Street in Baltimore shows a crowd of children and adults reading in the street.

Enoch Pratt Free Library book wagon during visit to Dallas Street, Baltimore

We introduced our first modern Bookmobile truck in 1949, which was such an immediate success that it circulated more than 132, 000 books in its first year on the road.

Enoch Pratt Free Library currently has two bookmobiles in operations. The Book Buggy services WIC Clinics and nonprofit daycare centers in Baltimore City. The Bookmobile services schools, senior apartment buildings and centers, government office buildings, and neighborhoods that do not have a library branch within walking distance. The Bookmobile also participates in city/community sponsored parades and fairs.

Pratt Library Bookmobile at the Book Festival today

You can visit the bookmobiles at their regularly scheduled stops to see the vehicles in action. Check out the Mobile Library Services page on our website for the current Bookmobile schedule.

The Pratt Mobile Library

National Bookmobile Day is sponsored by the American Library Association's Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS), The Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS), and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL).

Hello, My mother-in-law, Dorothy (Dove) Tosh, drove the horse drawn book mobile for the Enoch Pratt library as one of her first jobs as a librarian in the 1940's. She later moved to Cumberland, worked at several of the libraries there, and continued to drive the book mobile to rural areas of Allegany County. She is now a resident of the Frost Village Nursing Center in Frostburg, Maryland. She was just talking about that experience today when I visited her and I brought up a photo from your website on my phone to show her friend. That gave me the idea to ask if you had any pictures of her driving the book mobile in your archives. She will be turning 93 on May 27 and I know it would be very special if she received a letter of recognition and/or photo of the horse drawn book mobile from someone there. Thank you for your consideration! Nan Dove
Posted by: Nan Dove at 4/20/2013 7:55 p.m.

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