MCFL has had bookmobile service since 1948, crisscrossing the County to bring library service to children and adults in one-room schools, senior centers, in remote areas of the County, at the Ferry and the weekly Civic Center Farmer’s Market.
Recently, I had a chance to go on a ride-along and experience firsthand what it is like to be “the Bookmobile Lady.” At our first stop, Union School, the kids were hopping up and down with excitement because the chicken eggs that they had been given were starting to hatch. Little beaks were poking out of shells and eggs were rolling back and forth. As the children came out to the Bookmobile, they were chattering away and asking for books about chickens. And Legos. And “a good story to read that my brother would like.”
At Lincoln School, students from kindergarten to sixth grade sat quietly and listened to a picture book story about why you shouldn’t be mean to your substitute teacher! At Laguna School, lots of books got returned, lots of books got checked out, and we were invited to meet the resident cat and her newborn kittens.
After picking up delicious deli sandwiches in Tomales, we had a quick lunch overlooking Dillon Beach and then opened the doors for the first neighborhood stop of the day. A mom with two small children left with a tote bag filled with books and movies for the kids and a novel for herself. A retired woman browsed quietly for an hour or so, occasionally asking for advice or an opinion about a book she was considering. A retired man chatted about his painting hobby and left with an armful of classic films. An hour later it was off to Tomales. As soon as we parked, people started lining up. Local school kids who had just gotten out of class for the day. A night shift baker who made us hungry with his descriptions of the fabulous cakes he decorates for a local grocery store. Almost everyone arrived with a full basket of books to return and left with the basket refilled with new treats.
By the end of the day it was a treat to sit and watch the scenery go by as we wandered back home through the beautiful hills of northern Marin. If you happen to see the Bookmobile pass by, be sure to give a wave to the “library ladies” who bring all the magic of the library out into the world.