Bookmobile Day is an opportunity to celebrate one of the many services offered through public libraries. Originating in the nineteenth century, the earliest bookmobiles were horse-drawn wagons filled with boxes of books.
In the 1920s, Sarah Byrd Askew, a New Jersey librarian, thought reading and literacy so important that she delivered books to rural readers in her own Ford Model T. And today, Kenya still uses camels to deliver materials to fans of reading in rural areas.
Fairfax County Bookmobile Timeline:
1890s – Bookmobile serves northwestern part of Fairfax County.
1938 – Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce proposes a consolidation of library services to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in order to include both urban and rural areas of the County. Branches are to be established in heavily populated areas and bookmobile service to all other residents. The Chamber appoints a library committee.
1940 – First County-wide bookmobile in a truck loaned by the W.P.A.
1942 – W.P.A. support for the bookmobile ends December 31.
1943 – County purchases a vehicle for bookmobile.
1947 – County purchases a new bookmobile, a customized school bus.