On July 10, 1939, Miss Frances Kilburn began driving the first Bookmobile on rural Lycoming County roads to bring library service to the people.
Since that time, a variety of vehicles have continued to travel throughout the county, bringing books, music, movies and more to the people in rural areas, schools and care facilities.
Wednesday, April 10, is National Bookmobile Day, a celebration of the more than 930 bookmobiles and dedicated bookmobile staff that provide vital library services to their communities. The occasion is an opportunity for Americans to express their support for these important mobile institutions.
For over 100 years, bookmobiles have delivered information, technology, and resources for lifelong learning to Americans of all walks of life. In 2014, the Institute of Museum and National Library Services reported that there were 23 Bookmobiles in Pennsylvania; the Brown Library operates two of those with the Bookmobile and Storymobile, our early childhood vehicle that visits local childcare facilities.
Bookmobiles are a cost-effective means of providing library services to large geographic areas. Bookmobiles, like libraries, continue to meet the needs of their communities by offering free access to the latest technology and materials to users of all ages. The Lycoming County Library System’s Bookmobile visits a wide range of locations, including senior centers, low-income housing, personal care homes, private schools and more.
The James V. Brown Library is part of a national “Libraries Transform” effort to increase awareness of the changing role of libraries and the ways in which libraries are transforming to meet the information needs of their users. Libraries are community centers of information, technology and learning that will fuel educational and economic opportunity for all of our citizens.
The James V. Brown Library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and 24/7 at www.jvbrown.edu.