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.
Photo credit: San Jose Library