Yolo County's original bookmobile c. 1950s (courtesy: yolo county library foundation).
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The Dirt

Yolo County Library’s new Bookmobile debuts this summer

By: Hanna Nakano

A brand new bookmobile will hit the roads this summer, bringing books to the most rural parts of Yolo County. The parts that don’t have libraries.

The focus is on areas that aren’t served by physical branches, like Dunnigan, Zamora, Capay Valley, the Bryte and Broderick areas of West Sacramento, and the Davis and Madison Migrant Centers, according to the Yolo County Library Foundation.

The bookmobile will provide access to library-owned books, and orchestrate book giveaways to get more books in more hands. YCLF’s book giveaways focus on the most vulnerable members of our community—children and the elderly— and include bilingual board books and early-reader picture books for children at migrant camps.

“The Bookmobile is an amazing opportunity to advance literacy and improve access to essential resources in our county,” Library Foundation Board Chair Ben Cadranel said. “YCLF is excited to work with the Yolo County Library to advance their efforts by purchasing giveaway books to build family libraries in our rural Yolo County communities.”

Bookmobiles are more than just books on wheels—they serve as a lifeline of mobile library services, acting as community hubs, and providing educational programs, storytimes, and literacy events.

Though Yolo County hasn’t had a bookmobile in operation since 1999 when the last one was retired for mechanical problems, the history is rich.

The first Yolo County bookmobile was introduced in 1958 and carried 1,500 books across 270 miles each week—with no air conditioning, heat, or lights. YCLF purchased a new bookmobile in 1975.

In 2016, the organization debuted a Book Bike in Davis, but it is not currently in use.

Yolo County Library Foundation—a volunteer-led, 501c3 organization—was created to support all Yolo County Libraries, and has been a long time donor of giveaway books through summer reading and literacy programs, like Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

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