Category Archives: 1900-1920

More Indiana Bookmobiles; Logansport

In 1918 the board of the Logansport Public Library agreed to serve towns in surrounding Cass County and officially became the Logansport-Cass County Library, opening its doors to 12 townships. In September of 1919 Cass County purchased a Ford ½ ton … Continue reading

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Firehouse Libraries

Members of the New York City Fire Department relax with books on loan from the library Police stations and firehouses were among the turn-of-the-century workplaces that were loaned crates of books from women’s groups and public libraries. The Newark Free Public Library gave … Continue reading

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The Early Bookmobiles of Indiana; Noblesville

The Commercial Car of Noblesville, IN. By 1922, technically over 50% of the nation’s bookmobiles were in Indiana. That’s because of the nine that existed, five were in the Hoosier State; Plainfield, 1915; Gas City, 1917; Logansport, 1919; Noblesville, 1920; … Continue reading

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The Wisconsin Free Library Commission and Books-by-mail

“Do You Want a Book?” A pamphlet published by the WFLC explains how residents can receive books by parcel post.  On January 1st, 1913, Congress approved parcel post, meaning that packages could be sent via US Mail anywhere in the … Continue reading

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America’s 2nd Bookmobile

  Plainfield’s “Auto-Book-Wagon,” 1916. Courtesy of the Indiana Room; Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library. Plainfield, Indiana, is most likely the sight of America’s second bookmobile. In 1909 Plainfield librarian Mayme C. Snipes set up a series of deposit stations in the … Continue reading

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The Traveling Libraries of Lutie Stearns

Lutie Stearns was a founding member of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission, started in 1895. In 1896, she worked with local philanthropist Senator James Stout to establish 16 traveling libraries in Dunn County, each town getting a case of about … Continue reading

Posted in 1900-1920 | 3 Comments

Over There: Portable Libraries of World War One

American soldiers enjoy a portable library brought by truck to Kelly Field, just outside San Antonio. In 1916 An American traveler reported that when his train pulled up to stop for water on the Mexican border, American soldiers approached the … Continue reading

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