Something is lost like a library turning pages in a bookmobile


Anyone who has spent time in a mobile library has learned enough that nothing stands the test of time.

Still, we lament the slow disappearance of mobile libraries from our communities. Most recently, the Warren-Newport Library in Gurnee discussed terminating neighborhood services with mobile libraries.of number of mobile libraries In 1991, there were about 1,125 people nationwide, but in 2019 there were fewer than 650.

Many people fondly remember Bookmobile as the rolling sanctuary where they learned to love books. The ride was popular with children and adults who had difficulty getting to the Central Library or Branches due to physical restrictions. Today, the rest of Bookmobil transports books, magazines, DVDs, videos, video games, CDs and audiobooks to schools, parks, seniors’ homes and neighborhoods. It’s a godsend for those with limited internet access.

Mobile library librarians make a special effort to get to know patrons and bring materials of interest to patrons. Mobile libraries, for example, have been treasures for people who are caring for aging parents at home and cannot easily get home. to the main library. Mobile libraries brought materials to students that were not in school libraries. They stopped in areas of the community far from the main or branch buildings. Many users describe Book Mobile as a lifeline.

According to the American Library Association, mobile libraries have been used in rural, urban, suburban, and tribal areas for over 100 years. But like the characters in Agatha Christie’s novels, the bookmobiles disappeared one after another. Des Plaines retired his 42-year book mobile in 2011. Palatine he abolished the mobile library in 2014. The Indian Trails Public Library District in Wheeling and Prospect Heights closed its mobile libraries in 2010.

The services and materials available to patrons online have increased significantly. Subscribers have access to digital library resources such as downloadable e-books and subscription learning tools. When it comes time to balance the budget, it’s no surprise that some librarians think it’s time to permanently park their mobile libraries.

In its heyday, mobile libraries brought communities together and encouraged reading. We know times are changing, but every time another bookmobile drives off into the sunset, it pains us.

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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