Library on Wheels
If you can’t bring the man to the books, bring the books to the man. Mary Lemist Titcomb (1852–1932) was always looking for ways to improve her library. As librarian at the Washington County Free Library in Maryland, Titcomb was concerned that the library was not reaching all the people it could. She was determined that everyone should have access to the library—not just adults and those who lived in town. Realizing its limitations and inability to reach the county’s 25,000 rural residents, including farmers and their families, Titcomb set about to change the library system forever with the introduction of book-deposit stations throughout the country, a children’s room in the library, and her most revolutionary idea of all—a horse-drawn Book Wagon. Soon book wagons were appearing in other parts of the country, and by 1922, the book wagon idea had received widespread support. The bookmobile was born!

Library on Wheels Details

TitleLibrary on Wheels
Author
ReleaseApr 10th, 2018
PublisherAbrams Books
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Biography, History, Historical, Childrens, Picture Books, Juvenile

Library on Wheels Review

  • Donalyn
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating book about the life and work of one of America's most influential librarians, Mary Lemist Titcomb.
  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    Public Library CopyIt's hard to imagine that there weren't always public libraries, but the idea didn't really start to catch on until the 1890s (when my grandmother was born!). Mary Lemist Titcomb came from a poor family but made sure that she became educated. After finishing high school in 1873, she took an internship to become a librarian. After being denied a position at the Chicago World's Fair's Women's Building Library in 1893 by Melvil Dewey because she wasn't widely known outside her co Public Library CopyIt's hard to imagine that there weren't always public libraries, but the idea didn't really start to catch on until the 1890s (when my grandmother was born!). Mary Lemist Titcomb came from a poor family but made sure that she became educated. After finishing high school in 1873, she took an internship to become a librarian. After being denied a position at the Chicago World's Fair's Women's Building Library in 1893 by Melvil Dewey because she wasn't widely known outside her community, she stepped up her her game and devoted herself to promoting innovative library services. She installed library boxes throughout her county in stores and private homes, if necessary. Fearing that farmers at the outer reaches of her district did not have books, she created a book wagon in 1905 to take on rounds while keeping the library building open! She was a consummate professional and no doubt the most "famous" librarian of her time.Glenn has done exhaustive research to fill in spares facts, and since there are relatively few photographs of the time, she has done a great job of locating pictures that show, for example, what Mary might have looked like when she was a girl. The photos are all explained, but this will go far in giving modern children a better feel for the time. I love that Glenn was so dedicated to her topic that she helped get donations to put up a gravestone for Mary and her sister!Appelt's Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky (April 24th 2001, HarperCollins) remains steadily popular in my library, so I'm definitely going to purchase a copy of this. It's beautifully formatted, and a fun, easy read. Plus, Titcomb is a great example of a woman who did not take "no" for an answer, so would make a great topic (if hard to research!) for a National History Day project. Pair this one with Farrell's Fannie Fannie Never Flinched: One Woman’s Courage in the Struggle for American Labor Union Rights (November 1st 2016,Abrams Books for Young Readers), or, if you are silly enough to have Parnassus on Wheels on your library shelves since 1969, use Library on Wheels as an excuse to continue to hold onto Morley's fun novel.
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  • Peggy Hess Greenawalt
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a wonderful researched piece of history from Maryland with excellent photos. Mary Lemist Titcomb was quite a woman and a remarkable librarian. This book would make a great discussion with upper elementary kids and a nice gift for book lovers and librarians. Loved Mr. Thomas calling himself a book missionary. Maybe that is what all old school librarians are these days as technology takes on paper. What joy when the horse and then the horseless wagon came to your homes and barns in th This book is a wonderful researched piece of history from Maryland with excellent photos. Mary Lemist Titcomb was quite a woman and a remarkable librarian. This book would make a great discussion with upper elementary kids and a nice gift for book lovers and librarians. Loved Mr. Thomas calling himself a book missionary. Maybe that is what all old school librarians are these days as technology takes on paper. What joy when the horse and then the horseless wagon came to your homes and barns in the early 1900’s. This is a young people’s non-fiction read to be savored.
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  • Cindy Dobrez
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a librarian--how can I not love this book? I didn't know about Mary Lemist Titcomb and her work to get books out into rural areas by putting together the first bookmobile. The archival photos and postcards and other materials help tell the brief story and the book design is quite lovely. The readership may be limited beyond librarians, but young avid readers and book lovers may be pulled in to the book by the photos.
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  • LillyBooks
    January 1, 1970
    As a huge bookmobile fan, I put this book on hold based entirely on the title and did not realize it was a children's book. But I enjoyed it nonetheless. The illustrations and layout/design are excellent, and I'm all in favor of a well researched nonfiction children's book with a bibliography. Most importantly, I learned about an intelligent and independent woman of which I was previously unaware. I consider this essential reading for all future bibliophiles (and current ones, too!).
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  • Desiree Sotomayor
    January 1, 1970
    I loved all the old photos and notes, and it was just such a sweet look at the history of the profession I'm fortunate to be a small part of. "Book missionary" FTW.
  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    This eye-catching book went straight to my heart!
  • Kathryn
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent! Lots of great photos, easy to read font and simple writing. More school-age than middle-grade, for sure. Made my librarian heart smile.
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