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Friday, 17 November 2017

Books on the move

It is a holdover from another time, a way to bring books to the people when there were fewer libraries and transportation was more difficult. My husband and I were surprised to see a Mobile Library in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, when we visited there last month. More commonly called the book mobile, the service provides books to residents of the south shore of Nova Scotia, stopping in Mahone Bay once a week. 





There was a time when book mobiles were common throughout Atlantic Canada. Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick also provided the mobile library service to residents at one time. In fact, Newfoundland had a ‘book boat,’ delivering books to the isolated outport communities along its coastline. Now the only mobile service remains in Nova Scotia.





On that beautiful autumn day, the Mobile Library was parked by the bay, amid the tourists and their sight-seeing adventures. As I watched, several residents came to the modified bus with their books and left with a supply for another week. I looked inside.





There is a good supply of books on the bus and residents can request particular books just as regular library patrons do. The setting was bright, tidy and pleasant and the librarian was helpful. 





Today in Prince Edward Island, there are 26 libraries located throughout the province. Islanders don’t live far from the service no matter where they live. In our community, there is a new library, opened recently, which provides programs and services to the people in a modern facility.


However, there is also an island-wide service called Libraryenroute, which according to the government website, is a van, equipped with “a wifi tech bar with iPads, tablets and laptops, so families can make use of our online services, sign up for a library card and participate in story time.” 


This service promotes literacy and the library services in the province. The van travels around the province to festivals and events.


During a quick visit to the library last week, I requested ebooks, large print and audio books be available in the book club kits which are used by the many book clubs in the province. Some bookies need non-traditional materials. Kits contain ten books and a leader’s guide, which book clubs can use for six weeks. This service is well used in the province. 


The book mobile brought a smile that day. While the evolution of library services continues, sometimes the old ways work just fine.




42 comments:

  1. I love this post Marie. I remember a few years back when the doomsayers were predicting that libraries would be a thing of the past with all the technology taking over ... thank goodness this hasn't happened and book lovers, like you and me, can still immerse ourselves in a good book from our local library !

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    1. Libraries here are busy, Ginnie. It is good to see!

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  2. It's an incredible service Marie, I love this idea so much. I must find out if they do it in rural areas here.. there's still a library in every suburb! This bus is kitted out so well, it would be a real treat to visit.

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    1. It was great to see the book mobile, PDP. Reminds me of when I was young before our town had a library.

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  3. Very cool! People still love and need actual books.

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    1. I prefer books in hand rather than ebooks, Debra.

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  4. I had forgotten about book mobiles! Another era but I sure did like them. I used one when I was a young mother. Thanks for the memory, Marie. :-)

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    1. That sounds like a great memory, Jan.

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  5. They used to and probably still do have mobile libraries in the UK but I have certainly never seen them here. Keep well Diane

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    1. I wonder if there ever were book mobiles in France, Diane?

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  6. wow, a real flash from the past! How great they are still doing it!

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    1. It was a surprise to see the book mobile, SW.

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  7. I remember those! How exciting it was waiting for the mobile library.
    But I enjoy - very much! - being able to request my books online, getting ebooks on my tablet in seconds, picking up audiobooks, and some books in the traditional format as well.
    I love my library!! : ))

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    1. I enjoy ebooks for travelling, Catarina.

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  8. I have not seen a book mobile for years. I do love all the little free libraries I see in odd places, like cafes. Leave a book, take a book. So grass roots.

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    1. Those little libraries are here too, Joanne. One friend has one out in the country and it is popular.

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  9. A tiny sanctuary. I can see my 9 year old self get lost in there and be in a state of bliss.

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    1. The book mobiles took children to far off lands, Linda.

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  10. I haven't seen one since we moved to the Ottawa area 12 years ago. There was one in Sarnia, which I think mostly visited schools. I wonder if there still is.

    Well, by golly, we have Google, and Google says yes. http://www.lclibrary.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=75&Itemid=600

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    1. Good the book mobiles are still going strong, AC.

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  11. I have heard of this service before and I LOVE IT !

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    1. It was busy at the book mobile that day, HW.

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  12. Hooray for libraries. In all their myriad forms.
    I am glad to say we have something called 'library in the home' here. The local library will take books directly to the home of people who are aged or infirm.

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    1. We have that home service here too, EC. Book are taken to the senior’s homes here too. I forgot to mention it in the post.

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  13. A great service for those who don't have access to a library. Our library is opened only on Wed and Fri and it is always people in it. Computers are available too so a mobile version of this is fantastic. We have a wee free library down the road from us and three charity shops where you can get books 5 for €1. There are lots of book readers in this digital world. :)

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    1. There is a huge second hand book sale here every spring, Bill. People stock up then. The library also sells off the older books every year.

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  14. I love to read and I use our local library a lot. There's always a pile of books on my bedside table.

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    1. Boredom is never a problem when a book is around.

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  15. Lovely post Marie.
    This is a good way for people who do not have access to a library.
    We have some libraries in my city, and returning boxes are placed here and there. It is convenient for busy people when they finish reading books. My family lived in a country side when our children were kids.Not many had driver's license. One of my house rooms were library for kids in our neighborhood. A library offered people who are willing to use their house room as a library for kids to lend books. I periodically carried books with my young mom friends to a small room in my house. Lot of books on the shelves with children!It was my fond memory. Happy day to you and children who likes reading!

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    1. What a great memory, Tomoko. It iss interesting to see how different cultures set up their libraries.

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  16. A book mobile would be an extremely fun thing for me. I don't think I've ever seen one myself before.

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    1. I guess the book mobile idea wasn’t everywhere, Ratty.

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  17. what a GREAT idea, i have never heard of this. it is beautiful inside as well and what a wonderful service. i hope it does not age itself out!!!

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    1. The interior of the book mobile was inviting, Debbie. Such a great service!

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  18. Our mobile library was one of the highlights of my mother's routine as she got older and unable to get to the library in town. The lady who drove the big van got to know my mother and her taste in reading matter and always brought out a few large-print books that she thought she'd like.

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    1. That was a great service for your mother, John. The library here will bring books to seniors in their homes or nursing homes too.

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  19. I remember book mobiles but they didn't come around our area because we were bike riding distance to the library. Gosh I remember filling the basket on my bike with books. I read so much as a kid. Slowed down during young adult and motherhood but empty nesting and then retirement put good books back in my hands - or I should say CDs since Books on CD are my big love now.

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    1. I think the audio books are a perfect choice, Barbara.

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  20. I remember the Bookmobile! After our recent move I've decided to start patronizing the library instead of buying books, and it's working great! On book 6 after three weeks.

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    1. Libraries are a great use of our tax money, FG.

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  21. The mobile libraries have disappeared from our area in the last year and many of the smaller libraries have been taken over and run by local communities or they would have been shut. It is sad that a lack of demand and money has led to this situation. Sarah x

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    1. It is sad, Sarah. Our libraries are doung well here!

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