The Bookmobile

Source: Stadtbibliothek Darmstadt

International Bookmobiles

On this page you will find information on

  • Searching the internet for resources about bookmobiles outside the US
  • Selected international bookmobiles of interest
  • A selected bibliography of additional resources

Use the menu to the right to get started.

Conducting Internet Research on International Bookmobiles

Research Using Search Engines

Bookmobile in other languages

When conducting research using a search engine such as Google, it can be helpful to have a list of translations of the word bookmobile.

    Autobücherei (German)
      Bibliobus(Spanish, French)
        Bibliomovil (Spanish)
          Biblioteca ambulante (Spanish, Portuguese)
            Biblioteca móvel (Portuguese)
              Bibliothèque mobile (French)
                Bücherbus (German)
                  Fahrbibliothek (German)
                    Kirjastoauto (Finnish)
                      Mobiele bibliotheek (Dutch)

                    Suggested search strings for use in Google

                    It is possible to limit your searches to websites with domain names from specific countries. For example, the domain name for official French websites is ".fr" Use the following search strings to limit your search by country. A full list of country domain names can be found here.

                      biblioteca ambulante
                        biblioteca ambulante
                          biblioteca ambulante
                            bibliothèque mobile

                            Research Using Library Catalogs

                            When using library card catalogs, it is helpful to have a list of subject headings for your topic. Here is a list of suggested subject headings for researching bookmobiles outside the US:

                            • Bookmobiles
                            • Bookmobiles -- Country Name
                            • Bookmobiles -- Country Name -- Congresses
                            • Bookmobiles -- Country Name -- History
                            • Library Extension
                            • Library Extension -- Country Name
                            • Library Outreach Programs
                            • Library Outreach Programs -- Country Name

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                            Selected International Bookmobiles of Interest

                            The Camel Bookmobile of Kenya

                            Some libraries do not have the resources to maintain an automobile for use as a mobile library. The Kenya National Library Service runs several bookmobiles using camels to transport library materials from town to town.

                            Camel Bookmobile
                            Source: Camel Book Drive

                            Other Resources

                            Kenya National Library Service Website:

                            View a gallery of images of camel bookmobiles here:

                            View a video of a camel bookmobile here:

                            Visit the Camel Book Drive website here:

                            The Donkey Drawn Bookmobile of Zimbabwe

                            The Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership, in cooperation with Rural Libraries for Resource Development, has established a donkey drawm library in Northwestern Zimbabwe. The libraries are solar powered, and provide access to books, videos, fax machines, telephones, radio and internet.

                            Source: IFLA

                            Other Resources

                            For more information on the program, visit the Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership website here:

                            View a video of the donkey drawn mobile library here:

                            Read an article about the donkey drawn mobile library here:

                            Bookmobiles Sponsored by Argentina's Library of Congress, or Biblioteca del Congreso de la Nación

                            The Biblioteca del Congreso de la Nación of Argentina has sponsored numerous bookmobiles throughout the country. They provide books, videos and internet access. They also sponsor cultural activities such as concerts and outdoor chess tables.

                            Source: Biblioteca del Congreso de la Nación

                            Other Resources

                            Visit the Biblioteca del Congreso de la Nación, Argentina website here:

                            Visit the Bookmobile website of the Biblioteca del Congreso de la Nación here:

                            View a gallery of images of the Argentine bookmobiles here:

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                            Selected Websites of Interest

                            • International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
                            • IFLA Journal:
                            • IFLA Conference Proceedings:
                            • IFLA World Report Series

                            • Return to Main Menu

                              Selected Bibliography Compiled from WorldCat

                              Clancy, Frances M., et al. Mobile Libraries : Moving into the New Millenium : Report of a Project Funded by the Community Support Fund. Melbourne: Local Government & Regional Services Division, Dept. of Infrastructure, 2002.

                              Gely, Sabine, and Bibliothèque départementale de l'Isère (France). La Saga Des Bibliobus : La Lecture Publique En Milieu Rural Du 19e Siècle � Nos Jours. Saint-Martin-d'Hères: Bibliothèque départementale de l'Isère, 1995.

                              Maekawa, Tsuneo. Ido Toshokan Himawarigo. Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo, 1988.

                              Naha Shiritsu Toshokan. Naha Shiritsu Ido Toshokan "Aozora-Go" 20-Nen no Kiseki. Naha-shi: Naha Shiritsu Toshokan, 1997.

                              Oiwa, Yoshiaki. Koshikata : Ido Toshokan to Tomo Ni. Chiba-shi: Riso, 1999.

                              Orton, Ian. An Illustrated History of Mobile Library Services in the United Kingdom : With Notes on Travelling Libraries and Early Public Library Transport. Sudbury: Branch and Mobile Libraries Group of the Library Association, 1980.

                              Osaka Furitsu Yuhigaoka Toshokan. Sayonara Jidosha Bunko : Osaka-Fu Jidosha Bunko 39-Nenshi. Osaka-shi: Osaka Furitsu Yuhigaoka Toshokan, 1991.

                              Pestell, R. H., and International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Mobile Library Guidelines. The Hague: IFLA, 1991.

                              ---. Recommandations Pour La Construction Et l'Equipement De Bibliobus. La Haye: IFLA Headquarters, 1994.

                              Poedjohadi, Indonesia, and Pusat Pengembangan Perpustakaan. Evaluasi Perpustakaan Perintis Sekolah, Perpustakaan Wilayah, Perpustakaan Umum DT II, Perpustakaan Desa Dan Perpustakaan Keliling, Tahun 1980. Jakarta: Proyek Pengembangan Perpustakaan, Pusat Pembinaan Perpustakaan, Dep. P dan K, 1981.

                              Samuelsson, Carl-Olof Torstensson, Magnus, and Hallands bildningsförbund. När Boken Kom Till Bygden : Om Folkrörelsebiblioteken i Halland. Örkelljunga: Settern, 1994.

                              Sierra, Judy. Brown,Marc Tolon. Ch`aek i Chongmal Choa!. Soul: K`unbuk Chagunbuk, 2005.

                              Tate, Thelma H., and International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Camel Library Services in Kenya, July 22-28, 2001 : Report on the Assessment of Non-Motorized Mobile Libraries. Hague: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, 2002.

                              ---. The Donkey Drawn Mobile Library Services in Zimbabwe, August 6-13, 2001 : Report on the Assessment of Non-Motorized Mobile Libraries. Hague: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, 2002.

                              ---. Mobile Libraries in the World Community 1980-1992: An Annotated Bibliography. The Hague: IFLA Headquarters, 1992.

                              Televisi Republik Indonesia, and Balinese and Javanese Research Archive. Perpustakaan & Minat Baca Masyarakat. London: BAJRA, the Balinese and Javanese Research Archive, 2003.

                              von Freymann, Johannes. Fahrbibliotheken in Deutschland : Struktur- Und Betriebsdaten. Stand: 1. Januar 1996 ed. Berlin: Deutsches Bibliotheksinstitut, 1997.

                              Want, Penny Dyson, Ian. Mobile Libraries. West Yorkshire, England: MCB University Press, 1990.

                              Yousef, Atef. Bookmobiles : With Special Application to Jordan. Aman (Jordan):, 1981.

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