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Lincoln Pelham Library receives grant for bookmobile

Even in the age of the Kindle and iPad, a library on wheels can still attract an audience
A van similar to this one will be on Pelham streets next year.

As the children’s nursery rhyme goes, “The wheels on the bus go round and round, all through the town.” And there will soon be a bus bringing books to the four corners of Pelham.

The Lincoln and Pelham Public Library (LPPL) has been awarded $25,000 by Desjardins Financial Services in support of a bookmobile project. Julie Andrews, CEO of LPPL, said that the van RFP (request for proposal) has been sent out, with the winning vehicle bid expected to arrive in 2024. After that, the van will be retrofitted to make it an accessible bookmobile with shelving, books and magazines to borrow, and even WiFi access on board. It should be in service by late 2024.

“The bookmobile will enable the LPPL to provide service throughout Lincoln and Pelham to help make our services and resources more available to all parts of our communities,” said Andrews. “We are delighted with the support of Desjardins to make our bookmobile road-ready.”

Bookmobiles and similar outreach services are a vital part of many libraries around the country, especially serving rural areas, providing a place where remote communities can gather. The early prototypes of bookmobiles, which were horse-drawn portable libraries, appeared in the 19th century in England and in the early 20th century in the U.S. Today, the concept is in service abroad in Africa and South America, where camels and donkeys draw mobile libraries from town to town. Thailand uses elephants to transport its mobile books, while Norway’s library ship Epos has served small coastal communities with its portable library since the early 1960s.

Of course, it’s not just about books. The human-to-human connection between bookmobile librarians and young readers helps shape positive reading habits, which endure into adult life.


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Don Rickers

About the Author: Don Rickers

A life-long Niagara resident, Don Rickers worked for 35 years in university and private school education. He segued into journalism in his retirement with the Voice of Pelham, and now PelhamToday
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