|The First Bookmobile in Texas (1930, Jefferson County)|
As it turns out, the first bookmobile in the entire state of Texas appeared in Jefferson County (my home county, although, frankly, I was happy to see it in my rearview mirror) way back in 1930. The rig was paid for by W.C. Tyrrell, a Beaumont philanthropist and was associated with the city's Tyrrell Public Library. The bookmobile was ingeniously designed with shelves on both the inside and the outside and was capable of carrying a rather surprising total of 14,000 books.
Bookmobiles are almost a thing of the past in Texas and across the U.S. but two librarians in Houston plan to add one to the Texas fleet (of only eight) in early 2013. They are calling it The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library and will be driving it back from its Gallipolis, Ohio, pick-up point later this month. On their way home, they plan stops in Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, and Little Rock where they hope to gather donations to help them add to their book collection - making the trip a literal "book drive."
Take a look at their website for all the details about the big plans for the bookmobile and, if you see them on the road this month as they make their way back to Houston, consider stopping by and donating to a great cause. I can't wait to see them in action.