Remembering the Bookmobile

By guest blogger

Chantaal Ryane
Archives Access Technician
Royal BC Museum

I love this clip of the Fraser Valley bookmobile.  It reminds me of my own experiences with the bookmobile operated by the Saskatoon Public Library during the late 60s and early 70s.  Bookmobiles didn’t just service rural communities—they brought the world of books to communities on the outer edge of suburban areas.  In Montgomery Place, for example, we didn’t have sidewalks and other suburban amenities, but we could rely on regular visits from the bookmobile. It brought library services to patrons who might not be able to manage the longer trek to a central branch, and offered library outreach without the higher cost of a physical branch library.

I always remembered which day it would visit, and I can clearly recall the warm and enthusiastic welcome of the librarian inside.  An early love of libraries and books, fostered by friendly librarians and welcoming libraries, really influenced my career path. One of the most pleasant moments of my workday is the opportunity to roam through the stacks of the library collection at the BC Archives.

October is Canadian Library Month.

The BC Archives also holds some photographs of the bookmobile operated in the 1940s by the Vancouver Island Union Library.

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