Monday, June 15, 2009

The "Magical" Bookmobile

Anyone who has ever had the priveledge of entering the bookmobile will never forget it. As someone who loathes "magic," the bookmobile is the closest thing to magical I've ever experienced (and the closest I ever need to get).
Growing up, the bookmobile would come to the school and each class would get a turn boarding the book filled van. Only a few of us would get to visit at a time and our time was limited. We had to look around as quickly as possible and choose two books to check out until the next appearing of the bookmobile (it seemed like it only came a couple time every school year, but I'm sure it was more often).
I also recall that for some reason, some students didn't get to enjoy this adventure (which is why it seems like it must have been a priveledge). I was always fearful that for reason unbeknownst to me, I would be on the blacklist and not be allowed to enter. Fortunately, I was never on the blacklist. All I know is that the time I was allowed to spend during my allotted time slot was NEVER enough.

Once every couple of years, I will get a glimpse of the bookmobile driving around small towns on a journey to deliver books to kids in rural areas and with unusual excitement point and scream, "The Bookmobile!" My kids have never been able to relate with the excitement and they stare wide-eyed at my unusual outburst of enthusiasm at what appears to be an enclosed people-hauler. UNTIL NOW!

I happened to spot the van parked in the parking lot of my town's library and quickly swerved in at the last second to give my kids a chance to board the magical bookmobile. The door opened and I stepped up just like years ago. I was so relieved to find that nothing in the van had changed since I was a kid in elementary school (well except for the driver and some added book titles).
I quickly was informed (politely of course), that this was not a stop for kids to board but they were delivering books to the library. I was adamant to find out where and when (I didn't care how far I had to drive) could I have my kids experience this nostalgic event.
Here comes the best part! The driving librarian informed me that it was for rural families only during the summer and they make school stops during the school year. At this time, we were weeks away from making our move to the farm. WE would be a RURAL Family, which meant the bookmobile would COME TO US! I quickly signed up and returned to the car to inform the kids of the good news.

A few weeks later we received the schedule with our names on the route of stops each month.

We pinned the schedule to the bulletin board and my son looked it over about once a week and informed me each time that we had a 20 minute time slot. I kept track of the date by remembering it was the Tuesday after the first Farmer's Market weekend.
Well, I'm happy to say the bookmobile made it to it's first visit to our farm! It arrived early even so I didn't have to sit in anxiety waiting for it to show up. The van still had the low brum brum diesel engine sound of years past and the smell of old books ensued as you took the two steps up into the carpeted van. The driver swiveled her driver seat around to be seated behind her check-out desk and greeted us warmly. Her helper showed us the sections of Juvenile, Early Readers, and Picture Books.
The kids looked over the van and began their own magical adventure in the bookmobile. They checked out an armload of books each and reluctantly left the books-on-wheels bus, sensing they didn't have quite enough time to fully explore this mystical automobile. But that's okay, the "magical bookmobile" will be back next month!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome!!!!!!! Do you know what? My Mom the librarian DRIVES the bookmobile in the town I grew up in! I sooo understand your joy! Happy reading!