The Book Truck is the Calgary Public Library's modern spin on the bookmobile

After 25 years, the travelling branch is rolling through the city again and it has a new name — The Book Truck.

Travelling branch returns to city streets after 25 years

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi introduces bookmobile 2.0 to a new generation of young readers Thursday. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

Remember the bookmobile?

Well it's back and it has a new name — The Book Truck.

  • What are your memories of the bookmobile? Leave your stories in the comments section.

"We still have a number of communities in Calgary that aren't able to access the library very easily," said Jackie Flowers, who is heading the The Book Truck program for the Calgary Public Library.

Jackie Flowers of the Calgary Public Library says it's time, again, to take the library experience on the road. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

Flowers said the service will also be a bridge for communities, like Seton and Symons Valley, which are waiting for new libraries to be built.

The Calgary Public Library bookmobile operated in the city from 1952 to 1991. (CPL Archives)

There's an entire generation of Calgarians who grew up without a bookmobile service.

That's because 25 years ago, the CPL cancelled the travelling branch.

One of Calgary's bookmobiles, circa 1970. (CPL Public Archives)

"It was an expensive service to run, they were using two very large buses … And then, they weren't seeing the amount of traffic that they saw in the late 60s and early 70s — when it had its heydey."

Calgary Public Library bookmobile staff pose in front of the fleet in 1968. (CPL Archives)
This trippy bookmobile rolled around Calgary in the 1970s. (CPL Archives)

The CPL's modern-day bookmobile has two trucks in its fleet and has already rolled through a few neighbourhoods.

"I was there for the first stop in Auburn Bay," said Flowers.

She said the minute it opened, two kids came running into the truck with their mother.

"Their mom said, 'I remember when the bookmobile use to stop at Midnapore Lake and I wanted my kids to experience what it's like to climb aboard a vehicle full of books.'"

The Book Truck will carry popular paperbacks for kids, teens and adults and a small movie section. 

To find out when it will be stopping in your community or to schedule the truck to come to an event, visit the CPL website.


With files from the Calgary Eyeopener

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