NATIONAL LIBRARY OUTREACH DAY
National Library Outreach Day (formerly known as National Bookmobile Day) in April recognizes the dedicated library staff who make libraries accessible to everyone wherever they are. Services range from mobile access to information and resources through bookmobiles to pop-up services throughout the community. These professionals diligently work to provide these services and to improve and increase service year after year. For more than 100 years, bookmobiles have been bringing library access to those who might otherwise go without them.
Bookmobiles are mobile libraries designed to travel from neighborhood to neighborhood. They hold a variety of books and periodicals and usually run on a schedule. Many have computer access, too. Librarians check out books much like at a local library. Books can be returned at the next scheduled stop or at the associated library. But this service is just the tip of the iceberg where outreach services are concerned. Other outreach services include:
- Library open houses
- Author talks and readings
- Student events
- Partnerships with schools
- Presentations and projects
Libraries are constantly changing and their outreach services do too, fitting the needs of the community. They work in every kind of library often supporting underserved populations.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBookmobileDay
- Utilize your local bookmobile.
- Learn their schedules and make sure you have your library card at the ready.
- Check out your library’s outreach services. What is on the schedule this month?
- Attend a library event.
- Thank an outreach librarian for their hard work.
- Share what you like about your local library’s services using #NationalBookmobileDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL BOOKMOBILE DAY HISTORY
The American Library Association, the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach service, and the Association of Rural and Small Libraries coordinated National Bookmobile Day as part of National Library Week. In 2021, their focus was changed to National Library Outreach Day incorporating all the outreach services libraries provide.
Q. How old are bookmobiles?
A. The first mobile libraries were horse-drawn carriages that brought books and other reading materials to people in the United Kingdom. In the United States, mobile libraries began appearing during the early 1900s.
Q. How do I find out if a bookmobile comes to my community or neighborhood?
A. Contact your local library for information on bookmobile schedules in your area.
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