The Bookmobile That Became a Real Library; Collinsville, Pennsylvania

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The Collinsville Community Library was bookmobile permanently parked in a discount center parking lot. Courtesy, Collinsville Library.

On rare occasions, a bookmobile turns into a real library. When York County, PN.,  was appropriated a meager $40,000 to bring library services to two communities, Collinsville librarian Evelyn Minick paid $350 for a rusted-out bookmobile. Local artist Lillian Hill refurbished it and later became its volunteer librarian. In October of 1980,  stocked with 2,500 paperbacks, records and magazines, the converted bookmobile opened its two doors for the first time, in a discount center parking lot. There it sat, open 40 hours a week, staffed by a combination of volunteers and paid staff. It had two solar panels in the back and was dubbed the “solar library” (“When the sun shines, they are more than adequate as a heating source.” ) Otherwise, a propane heater kept the  mini-library warm.

In 1982 the Solar Library was replaced by a trailer. Seven years later the Philadelphia Electric Company donated a couple of unused trailers to expand the library again. To this day the library is three trailers rolled into one structure.

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