Alberta Bookmobile Service


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)

Tour of the Prototype

The new Alberta Bookmobile will be housed in an eleven metre long recreational vehicle with two pullout expansion areas. The approximate square footage will be 33.14 m2 with an item capacity of roughly 7,000 volumes. The bookmobile will carry a complete array of materials: hardcover and paperback books, CDs DVDs, large print and talking books, periodicals and reference materials for children, young adults and adults. A complete floor plan of the prototype is attached as Appendix I.

The bookmobile will also be equipped with four computers: two computers at terminals for public usage, and two laptops, one for accessing the region's main catalogue (located at the check-out desk) and one for staff usage (located at the front of the vehicle). The public computers will have flat LCD displays and satellite internet access. All furniture for the public and staff use will be ergonomically designed. The bookmobile has been designed to be completely accessible for those with mobility or other challenges.

When approaching the bookmobile on the passenger side, one sees two entryways. The entryway at the front of the vehicle is for staff use and the one further along the side is for patron use. This entrance is equipped with a platform lift with which any persons with mobility challenges can be raised to the floor level of the library facility. Upon entering the space there is a check-in / check-out desk directly to one's right which also houses the drop box for return materials. There is a compartment for A/V materials and one for text materials. Staff access to the drop box in located behind the desk where the bins are removable for easy return to the shelves. There is a window here allowing in some natural light and a fire extinguisher is attached to the wall here also.

To the left of the entrance, the magazine racks are located across the back of the vehicle. These racks open up, revealing a spacious storage facility behind into which children's programme seating can be stored when not in use. There is adequate space here to store other equipment not required when the vehicle is in motion.

Directly across from the entryway, some of the shelving for print material is located. This shelving is 1.8 metres high and is double wide so that two layers of material can be accommodated upon the steps of each shelf.

Behind the check-in / check-out desk the two public computer terminals are placed. Each of the terminals are height adjustable in order to accommodate wheelchairs, or the different heights of users. The chairs are ergonomic and easily removed for wheelchair placement.

Beside the computers there will be a 1.8 metre high, double wide book shelf perpendicular to the terminals. This shelf is one meter long. This provides some privacy for the computer users from the main space of the bookmobile. The aisle running between the two sides of the vehicle is one metre wide at its narrowest, providing more than adequate clearance for anyone in a wheelchair or with a stroller or walker, and should accommodate today's scooters also.

Between this back area of the vehicle and the front driver's cab space, the walls of the bookmobile expand out to provide a large area in the middle where various programming can take place. This area will easily fit children and their parents, where they can enjoy story-time, movies or other programmes. The extra seating, as mentioned earlier, is stored in the compartment at the back of the bookmobile.

On each side of the programming area there will be shelving of various heights and widths. There will be 1.8 metre high shelving on both side of a section of shelving that is only 1.2 metres high. Both will be double wide. Above the 1.2 metre shelf will be a window, allowing in natural light. One of the 1.8 metre high shelves will not be double wide in order to accommodate over-sized books, including reference books such as dictionaries, atlases and encyclopedias.

The driver's cabin area has overhead compartments for storage and also houses a 27" flat screen television, a DVD player, a VHS recorder and satellite access equipment. There is a cellular telephone for calls to the main branch or for emergencies. One of the laptops is also located in the front cabin for the use of staff. The driver's and passenger's seats both swivel so that they can face the programming space for interaction with the occupants.

Added features include two skylights in the back of the vehicle to allow in more natural light. The front cabin has large windows which wrap around the sides. There is also two sections of track lighting running down either side of the bookmobile to improve visibility and for times when there is insufficient daylight. All plans were designed and constructed to comply with or exceed the standards and guidelines for bookmobiles, a copy of which is attached as Appendix III.

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