The Bookmobile

The Bookmobile - a large vehicle with doors open to show some of the books inside and the Outreach staff gathered around

The bookmobile is our mobile branch! It’s a large vehicle, named Destination Literacy, that’s loaded with books you can check out. We have titles for children and adults, in both English and Spanish. On the bookmobile you can also sign up for a library card, pick up a book you requested through our online catalog, and more.

Did you know?

  • You can return a book from the bookmobile at any other library location, and you can return a book from any location at the bookmobile.
  • Each week, the bookmobile is on the road six days and covers over 200 miles on highways and back country roads. We visit over 60 locations each month and check out almost 50,000 books per year.
  • Durham offered the first bookmobile service in North Carolina beginning in 1923. The Durham Colored Library, which was a separate system until 1966, also offered bookmobile service from its early years.

More about the Bookmobile

We serve all of Durham, but our main focus is on three groups: preschools and child care programs, Durham public housing neighborhoods, and outlying neighborhoods and shopping centers that aren’t near a branch library.

Preschools and child care programs

Our morning stops are devoted to meeting the library needs of preschool children. A bookmobile visit often introduces a preschooler to the library. Children love climbing up into the big vehicle and choosing their own books.

We support preschool teachers by choosing age-appropriate books for the children they teach. We can also work with them to bring special subject books to support their lesson plans. Our staff enhance the preschool’s curriculum with storytimes that help develop the children’s reading readiness skills and excitement for reading.

Durham Housing Authority neighborhoods

Our afternoons focus on school-aged children who live in high-density, low-income areas in Durham. We work closely with the children, helping them choose books that support their studies. Our visits often include impromptu reading sessions on the bookmobile.

To keep the children involved in books and reading during the summer months, we offer the Summer of Learning program and the Reading is Fundamental book distribution at the public housing neighborhoods. Both of these programs stress the joy and importance of reading and offer incentives to encourage children to read.

During the school year, we deliver age-appropriate books to after-school programs at the city’s recreation centers.

Outlying communities and shopping centers

If you live in Durham’s outlying communities, the bookmobile can help meet your library needs. We regularly visit these neighborhoods in the early evening and on Saturdays to serve working parents, families, and older adults. The bookmobile makes regular stops at apartment complexes with mainly Spanish-speaking residents, and our selection on board includes bilingual books and books in Spanish. We’re always happy to have new visitors at community stops, and once we’ve met you, we hope to keep seeing you again.