First bookmobile in Seattle takes to the road on May 4, 1931.
- By David Wilma
- Posted 4/23/2003
- HistoryLink.org Essay 4160
On May 4, 1931, Seattle's first bookmobile takes to the road delivering library services to schools and neighborhoods. The van is specially constructed with four revolving shelves to allow access to books from inside or outside depending on the weather.
The bookmobile was staffed by a librarian and a driver and could carry 600 books. It ran on five different routes each week. The last stop on Mondays was at the Boeing Airplane Co.
Budget cuts caused by the Great Depression forced the library to park the bookmobile in August 1932, and it was later sold. Bookmobile service was resumed in 1947.
"Motorized Branch Is Library Plan, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 3, 1931, p. C-7; "Bookmobile Put Up for Economy," undated newsclipping in folder "Bookmobile Papers," Seattle Public Library Archives; Seattle Public Library Annual Reports, 1947 to 2002, Seattle Public Library.
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