Bro-Dart’s prepackaged libraries

At the 1965 American Library Association conference the library supply company Br0-Dart, better known for making hand carts and shelving units, attempted to break into the bookmobile market with its prepackaged “Library on Wheels.” These were trailers that came already outfitted with books, furniture, and even a card catalog. Interior mirrors were meant to make the units seem larger. While they looked impressive, it is not clear that any of these units were actually used by public libraries.

BrodartExt BroDartInterior

Bro-Dart’s prepackaged “Library on Wheels”, interior and exterior shots, 1965. Note the use of mirrors and card catalog. Both photos from Brown, “Bookmobiles and Bookmobile Service” by Eleanor Frances, Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1967.

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