Ride on the Bookmobile with Emilie and Bruce

Have you seen one of our IndyPL Bookmobiles driving around Indianapolis? We have two that visit neighborhoods and schools all over the city delivering books to people who don’t have a library branch nearby. Kids love trucks, books, and cozy little spaces – our Bookmobiles are all three! Watch this video to meet one of our book cruising teams, ride on the bookmobile with Emilie and Bruce. Our Bookmobiles are filled with both great books and great people! Happy National Library Outreach Day to Miss Emilie, Mr. Bruce, and all our staff in Outreach!

Bookmobile History

A librarian in Maryland in the early 1900s is credited with coming up with the idea of the first bookmobile. That first one was a horse-drawn wagon. No one had ever seen one of those before! Soon book wagons were appearing in other parts of the country, and by 1922, the book wagon idea was very popular. The bookmobile was born!

  • Bookmobiles: Then and Now – A Fascinating timeline of the evolution of bookmobiles, including the features, technology, and vehicles responsible for bringing library services to the public. Note: green entries on the timeline are bookmobile history in general. Purple entries in the timeline are IndyPL Bookmobile history.
  • 50 Vintage Photos of Libraries on Wheels
  • Indianapolis Public Library Digital Collections: Bookmobiles

We’ve picked our favorite photos from our Digital Collection for this Bookmobile photo gallery. It’s fun to see how our Bookmobiles have changed over the years!

To learn even more about bookmobiles check out one of the books below. Each one tells the story of a bookmobile. You can ride on the bookmobile with Emilie and Bruce or ride a lot of other things to deliver books! Some of them are from a different part of the world where it makes sense to deliver books by boat, burro or camel!

Bookmobiles: On the Road for Reading All Over the World

Book lovers and librarians have loaded up books and taken them on the road for decades. What people use to transport the books depends on where the books need delivered. Bookmobiles can be trucks, boats, bikes, or pack animals! Which animal is chosen depends on where in the world the books are being delivered. Horses, burros and camels are all excellent at book transportation. Here are some of our favorite stories about how mobile libraries get books to people who don’t have a library building nearby.

Title - The Library BusTitle - My Librarian Is A CamelTitle - That Book WomanTitle - The Book BoatTitle - Waiting for the BiblioBurroTitle - Library on WheelsTitle - Miss Dorothy and Her BookmobileTitle - My Librarian Is A CamelTitle - BiblioburroTitle - That Book WomanTitle - The Library BookTitle - Librarian