Celebrating Seattle’s Bookmobile

Bookmobile 19312016 marks the 125th anniversary of The Seattle Public Library. After it was adopted as a department of the city in 1890, the Library opened its first reading room in Pioneer Square on April 8, 1891. To honor this milestone, we will be posting a series of articles here about the Library’s history and life in the 1890s. We also encourage our patrons to share their favorite memories of SPL on social media using the hashtag #SPL125. Be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest. – editor

This month, Seattle Public Library is launching a brand new Bookmobile.

As we celebrate this exciting new road warrior for early literacy, we are also celebrating 125 years of the Seattle Public Library with a look back at Bookmobile service in Seattle.

The first bookmobile in Seattle took to the road on May 4, 1931.  Seattle’s first bookmobile delivered library services to schools and neighborhoods that did not have their own branch library. The truck was specially designed with revolving shelves to allow access to books from inside or outside depending on the weather.

The bookmobile was staffed by a librarian and a driver and could carry 600 books. It ran on five different routes each week. The last stop on Mondays was at Boeing!

Budget cuts in the wake of the Great Depression caused the library to halt bookmobile service in August 1932, and the truck was later sold. Bookmobile service resumed in 1947 and has run continuously in various forms since then.

Today, Mobile Services operates a small fleet of vehicles delivering books, movies, music, and more to people across the city who are unable to visit their neighborhood library.

~posted by Carrie


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