The Bayou Bookmobile

Louisiana

In 1940, the parish (county) of Terrebonne, Louisiana launched its first bookmobile, partially-funded by the Works Progress Administration. The Terrebonne Parish Library used the truck to reach people living along the bayous. Roads there were so scarce that the mostly Cajun population often could only reach the bookmobile stops using skiffs or pirogues.  One librarian described such a stop in the January 1, 1941 issue of Library Journal; “We seem to stop in an abandoned place, but on looking across the bayou, you can see a small house with a palmetteoed roof. On hearing the horn of the bookmobile, the whole family comes forth, rows across and gets books.” To accommodate the unique demographics of the parish, many of the titles were in French and Spanish.

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