These days, we can order almost any book in the world straight to our doorstep or simply download them to devices like kindle. This would definitely come in handy in quarantine. But it wasn’t always so. Just a few decades ago, people who lived in villages or remote areas without a library depended on bookmobiles. The mission of these circulating libraries was to make the printed word accessible to everyone.
One of the earliest recorded bookmobiles was the Perambulating Library in Warrington, England 1859. It was a horse-drawn cart and lent about 12,000 books during its first year of service. Bookmobiles did not appear in the US until the early 1900s. Eventually, they were motorized and reached the height of their popularity in the mid-20th century, when they became an everyday part of American life.
Take a look at these 20 nostalgic images of circulating libraries, that will send you back to a time when the world operated much differently.
Image Source: Crossett Library / Flickr