National Bookmobile Day

National Bookmobile Day is a holiday that celebrates technology that opened up library services to millions of people in rural communities in the United States. The first bookmobile was launched by librarian Mary Titcomb at the beginning of the 20th century.

She was inspired by the small mobile libraries used in Great Britain during the 19th century. She developed a horse-drawn library wagon that would take books to post offices and general stores in rural communities. In 1912, the first motorized bookmobile was born, and it has been used all over the U.S. and the world ever since.

The History of Bookmobiles

In Great Britain and the United States, there were some types of traveling libraries available. For example, the Warrington Perambulating Library was set up in Great Britain in 1858, but it wouldn’t be until Mary Lemist Titcomb came along that the bookmobile would become popularized.

She was concerned that rural citizens of Washington County, Maryland, didn’t have easy access to books, so she developed a bookmobile to solve that problem. National Bookmobile Day would be invented many decades later by the American Library Association.

Interesting Facts About Bookmobiles

There may be a thing or two that people don’t know about bookmobiles, so we’ve decided to list some of those facts below. Let’s dig into them.

  • The average bookmobile can hold approximately 2,000 items on its shelves.
  • Many bookmobiles allow people to request special research materials from the library, such as DVDs or music CDs.
  • Most bookmobiles are full-service libraries that can help with general library services.

Observing National Bookmobile Day

One of the better ways to observe this holiday is by taking the time to use your local bookmobile. Just be sure that you know where they’re going to be and that you have your library card ready. Also, be sure to use the hashtag #NationalBookmobileDay on your social media accounts to spread the word about this holiday.

When is it?
Last year (2023)
April 26 Wednesday
Education & Reading