Our History Speaks Volumes: Bookmobile

November 11, 2020 | Mike Donohue
Our History Speaks Volumes: Bookmobile

On November 22 1949, Orlando Public Library, in partnership with Sorosis Club of Orlando, unveiled Orange County’s first mobile library: A $6,000 Studebaker bus uniquely equipped to deliver library services to the outlying areas of Orange County. At the time, there were only three library locations within the county, and they were mostly centralized to the Downtown Orlando area. With the Bookmobile, the library brought materials lending to even the most remote of areas:  “Farm workers, citrus growers, villagers, cross-road store customers, [and] lonely farmettes will have a new interest,” touted a press release for the newly commissioned vehicle. 
In addition to a unique lending collection, the library bookmobile offered a diverse range of events for residents including language classes, storytimes, picnics, square dances and bridge parties. 
The bookmobile program eventually expanded service into Osceola County in 1969, providing lending access to prisons and retirement communities within Kissimmee and Intercession City. By then, the prevalence of library branches within Orange County had made the Bookmobile less of a necessity. Eventually, the bookmobile program gave way to the library’s Home Delivery service, which continues to operate today. 
Thankfully, much of the history of the Bookmobile service has been preserved on Orlando Memory. Here, you can browse historic images of the two library bookmobiles and the devoted library staff who made the service possible.

Various vintage pictures of the library bookmobile serving patrons

Share Article

Comments and postings by library patrons do not necessarily reflect the official position of OCLS or its staff. All comments and posts are public records. Patrons are strongly encouraged to protect their privacy when commenting or posting on social software tools.

From book recommendations to pop culture discussions, the Orange County Library System wants you to join the conversation with library staff about the world around us.


Stream the music from while you do chores or hang around the house: https://t.co/9JvOrXtqP6 https://t.co/BaajhhCJxI
1 hour 4 min ago
Good news! Remote access to Ancestry Library Edition has been extended to June 30, 2021. Take advantage of this ext… https://t.co/B3XNBHWPHU
2 hours 43 min ago
Did you know? In 1950, Hazel Scott became the first African American woman to host her own television show. Read ab… https://t.co/EeBOUN4J3o
4 hours 57 min ago