The mobile library, books on wheels, and bookmobile phenomenon has grown across the country, and Texas is no exception. Here are a couple of new and existing unconventional bookselling and library services offered across the state.
Libros Bookmobile – Hutto
Libros Bookmobile, based in Hutto, TX, opened for business October 6, 2021. Libros Bookmobile is a Latina-owned mobile bookstore specializing in gently used fiction for all ages.
Currently, Libros is setting up shop at local farmers’ markets in Williamson County and the surrounding area, as well as vendor markets and other pop-up events; they are working on converting an old school bus into their shop.
You can find more information on their website and on their social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
Children’s Books on Wheels – Montgomery County
From their website: “Rita Wiltz, founder and executive director of Children's Books On Wheels (CBOW), established the mobile nonprofit organization in 2004 to bring reading to children in all areas that may not have access to books. Seventy-five percent of the population served by CBOW are below the poverty level. Wiltz and her team are mobile and travel to community events, churches, businesses, and other nonprofits in north, south, east, and west counties.
The after-school site at the Sleepy Hollow Multipurpose Building for the YMCA is hosted by CBOW. Summer Reading Projects donate books to children and their families at no cost. Each year over 9,000 books are distributed. Over 7,524 hot lunches were distributed in May through July 2020 through a collaboration with Meals on Wheels of Montgomery County for families affected by COVID-19.”
Books and Bytes
Books and Bytes is run by Castleberry ISD and uses an old, refurbished school bus to bring literature and connectivity capabilities to disadvantaged neighborhoods in their school district.
“Located in River Oaks, Castleberry ISD is home to just over 4,000 students. Many of whom are economically disadvantaged,” Castleberry ISD Lead Librarian Heather Lamb said for NBC DFW 5 .
She said teachers, administrators, and counselors see firsthand the lack of books in student homes and want that to change.
Street Books ATX
Street Books ATX is a bicycle-powered mobile library for people living outdoors in the Austin, Texas area. It seeks to “empower people on the street through access to literature and create a community of support for people living outside, through a shared love of books.”
Read the Lone Star Lit news brief about the opening of Street Books ATX here.
Grapevine Public Library’s GROW (Grapevine Resources on Wheels) Bus was unveiled in 2019 and continues to trek around Grapevine. Visit the website to see its next stop.
Harris County Public Library’s Curiosity Cruiser “a state-of-the-art mobile library that provides Houston children with access to books and exciting educational programs that integrate reading with science, math, technology, writing, and the arts.”
El Paso Public Library’s Bookmobile offers books, magazines, videos, music CDs, and other resources for loan. It is also a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. The Bookmobile operates on routes, so visit the website to see where it goes next.