Skip to content A New Bookmobile Hits the Streets – The Seattle Public Library Foundation


The Library has rolled out a brand new bookmobile that’s dedicated to serving children throughout the city. The new bookmobile will visit 42 child care facilities and preschools that serve low-income families, providing books to over 2,200 children each month. On the weekends, it will drop by community events and festivals. Your donations to the Foundation made this much-needed purchase possible!

As we celebrate this exciting new road warrior for early literacy, here’s a look back at Bookmobile service in Seattle.

The first bookmobile in Seattle took to the road on May 4, 1931.  Seattle’s first bookmobile delivered library services to schools and neighborhoods that did not have their own branch library. The truck was specially designed with revolving shelves to allow access to books from inside or outside, depending on the weather.

The bookmobile was staffed by a librarian and a driver and could carry 600 books. It ran on five different routes each week. The last stop on Mondays was at Boeing!

Budget cuts in the wake of the Great Depression caused the library to halt bookmobile service in August 1932, and the truck was later sold. Bookmobile service resumed in 1947 and has run continuously in various forms since then.

Today, the Library’s Mobile Services operates a small fleet of vehicles delivering books, movies, music, and more to people across the city who are unable to visit their neighborhood library.  Your gifts to the Foundation help keep this important special service rolling.