Anybody else remember bookmobiles?
When I was a child, back there in the last millennium, I lived in a modest California Central Valley town of about 10,000 people. Though we had a perfectly fine public library just off downtown, a bookmobile daily crawled through the streets delivering books to those who were too old, sick, young, automobile-impaired, or Boo Radley-like to frequent the place. I was kind of a library rat then, and I remember being grateful, when laid up first with mononucleosis, and then with valley fever, that the books could come to me.
Some years on, still in the last millennium, I moved upstate to another California Central Valley town, this one somewhat bigger, one with not only a perfectly fine public library, but also a more brash and boastful library connected to a college. Though a bookmobile did not cruise the streets of the top town in the county, it did dutifully crawl into all the towns, villages, hamlets, forks in the road, wide spots, and wilderness areas tucked away in the flatlands, foothills, and mountains.
|This piece will eventually get around to reporting on a perfectly charming story from the BBC about the use of donkeys to circulate books among the children of Ethiopia, but first I smell several hundred more words of introductory and digressive material . . . .|