Alberta Bookmobile Service1


Consumer Survey


A model of Exemplary Bookmobile Service

North American Library Principles

Vision & Mission Statements

Tour of the Prototype



I: Floor plan for the Alberta Bookmobile Service

II: Geographic Areas for Library Systems

III: New Guidelines for the 21st Century by Richard M. Cheski
(offsite link)

Consumer Survey

Once upon a time, children and adults alike were excited by the approach of the bookmobile. A service that came to the towns, districts and neighbourhoods of Alberta, the bookmobile delivered information, entertainment and an opportunity to socialize with ones friends and neighbours. The bookmobile became a roving symbol of public library service, and many Albertans fondly remember the days when it was a familiar sight, and rue its recent disappearance form the highways and byways of the province.

Alberta is one of the richest provinces in Canada. Its geography is made up of basically two different systems; the south of Alberta is prairie land while the north, from roughly Edmonton up, is mainly parkland. The population of Alberta is centred mainly in the southern area, becoming increasingly sparse as one travels north.

In recent years bookmobile service, which was once common across the province, has shrunk to two, in Lethbridge and the County of Strathcona. This report is meant to assess the information needs of Albertans in terms of their access to library services and whether or not it is feasible for the government to fund province-wide Bookmobile services. A map of the geographic areas for library systems in Alberta is attached as Appendix II.

1 I fully realize that such an institution does not exist. However, this is part of my plan. I imagine a day when the government of Alberta is willing to provide funds for a province-wide bookmobile service that will travel to all rural and reserve areas delivering quality access to information and library services. In this dream, each of the existing regional library systems will have a bookmobile to service any community within the region that needs it. The stationary libraries will lend the bookmobiles all required materials on a rotating basis, so that the responsibility is equally shared amongst all the libraries.

This paper was originally written in June 2005 to fulfill course requirements for Facilities Planning (LIS 587), at the School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta. It was converted to HTML to fulfill the requirements of the Capping Exercise (LIS 600).

Last updated: March 12, 2006
Merrill Kemp 2006