Photo by NYPL

For those New Yorkers too swamped to stop at the library for their summer book fix: Never fear—the New York Public Library‘s Bookmobile is here! The portable book-bearing bus will make its debut for the first time in the Bronx’s High Bridge neighborhood this morning at PS 11, where NYPL President Tony Marx will lead an opening ceremony and local students will have first access to its stock. From then on, it will make its way across the length of the Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island and making special stops at public events, community centers, and community get-togethers.

Photo by NYPL

The bookmobiles may be small, but they will provide all the services you would encounter at a regular NYPL branch, like card registrations, check-outs, returns, and book recommendations. Best of all, they’ll spend the most time servicing areas where the local branch has been shut down for renovations, like the Grand Concourse library in the Bronx. The vehicle launching tomorrow will be joined by two additional ones later this summer, to ensure books are making the rounds.

Photo by NYPL

The Bookmobile began testing in April of this year. The base vehicle is a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, wrapped in red with a bookshelf pattern surrounding the window and the NYPL library logo on it. Each Bookmobile can carry 1,000 books and will be staffed with two NYPL employees, wearing shirts that say “Libraries Make NYC Stronger.” The Bookmobile follows the tradition of “book vans,” “bookwagons,” and “traveling libraries” that the New York Public Library has employed in the past, throughout its 124-year history.

A historic “Bookmobile” from the New York Public Library, operating in the Bronx in the 1950s. Photo from NYPL Digital Collection.

Photo by NYPL

Photo by NYPL

Next, check out the Top 10 Secrets of the NYPL’s Main Branch.

 Bookmobile, new york public library, NYPL

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