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Generous Donation Saves Bookmobile

Generous Donation Saves Bookmobile

Thanks to a generous $150,000 donation from a private foundation, a library in Vermont will receive a new bookmobile to replace the one that broke down last year, leaving library patrons at schools, day cares and homes without access to books.

The unexpected gift comes from the Manton Family Foundation, “which was founded by the late Sir Edwin Manton, who for many years headed insurance giant AIG. The foundation makes unsolicited grants in the arts, education, and health throughout New England” (The Republic).

NPR covered the story, emphasizing the impact that the bookmobile has on children in day care. The kids have missed the bookmobile in the year that it has been out of commission. Being able to go outside and pick out books to read is a ritual that they will be excited to resume, and that will “bring back the wow factor,” said day care owner Annika Bickford.

Reading about day care kids boarding the bookmobile brought back a slew of almost-forgotten memories of my own day care days, walking in single file lines across busy streets and over a bridge to get to the tiny town library, where each child was allowed to check out three books. My reading choices were eclectic even in elementary school — I remember stocking my cubby with Babysitter’s Club books and Agatha Christie mysteries, hoping that they would last the long two weeks until the next library trek.

Some kids love day care. I hated it, and the escape books brought me some relief from the endless games, forced playtime and scheduled snacks that made up my day. Even more than libraries, bookmobiles have a sense of mysticism and possibility about them. Who knows what you could find in a rolling caravan of books?

Do you have a favorite bookmobile memory? Where did you discover your favorite childhood book? Share your thoughts and memories in the comments below.

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Photo credit: San Jose Library

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6:02AM PDT on May 29, 2012

Oh, why don't we have them?! =( Anyway, I believe children are very happy there))

3:38PM PDT on May 24, 2012

good news thanks

11:05PM PDT on May 23, 2012

great :)

1:26PM PDT on May 23, 2012

i remeber in 3rd grade i got a visit from the bookmoble. Since then i may not have became a bookworm - but it jump started me to readong for fun, and not just for school. So thanks to this, im not some couch-potatoe fat kid staring at cartoons all day, I an actully read a book and enjoy it ^_^

11:26AM PDT on May 23, 2012


10:55AM PDT on May 23, 2012

Reading makes us smarter and happier.

10:27AM PDT on May 23, 2012

The bookmobile was my lifeline as a kid: every 2 weeks, my mom, brother and I would wait by the road with 2 cartons of books we'd read and fill them again with books that were new to us. By 8th grade I'd read everything in the school library, including the lists of my state's Civil War participants (my first foray into geneology) and a dog-eared copy of "Pride & Prejudice" I found in the librarian's desk while substituting for her (she was a teacher as well as the part-time librarian). We couldn't afford to buy books (and there were no bookstores in nearby towns anyhow), so summers would have been very bleak without the bookmobile.

10:22AM PDT on May 23, 2012

What a wonderful gift. Books are so important and there is no substitute for holding a book in your hands. If we had bookmobiles in San Francisco, I was not aware of it. Fortunately my mother was passionate about books and reading. She would read to me every evening and when I was old enough to read myself we were in a position that we could buy books, besides borrowing them from the library.
But I imagine bookmobiles must be a godsend to kids in rural and poor areas, especially at a time when libraries and schools are in such dire straits. This foundation is truly heroic.

9:54AM PDT on May 23, 2012

Yay! Those kids will be so happy.

9:25AM PDT on May 23, 2012

I've been using libraries since before I was 5-for more than 60 years.I'm very fortunate to live a 20 minute walk from a very good library,which gives me frequent opportunities for important physical exercise at my age,followed by intellectual exercise-keeping body and mind strong.

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