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Title: Mississauga Library Bookmobile
Identifier: L576
Date of Original Photo: 1982
Image Type: Slide
Subject: Bookmobiles - Ontario - Mississauga

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Description: At the March 1957 meeting of the newly formed Toronto Township Public Library the Library Board presented its first budget which included the sum of $1,400.00 towards the rental and operation of a bookmobile. In October of that year the Property Committee of the Board was authorized to negotiate with various trailer manufacturers as to price and specifications for this purchase, and in November of that year the Board voted to purchase a book trailer from a firm in Peterborough at a cost of $5,828.50. In January 1958 the Board tabled the Chief Librarian's report on proposed bookmobile stops, with the expectation that bookmobile service would begin in April, to run through the year except in the month of August. Bookmobile service began on May 8, 1958 with six stops at Applewood Shopping Centre, Churchville, Dixie Plaza, Erindale, Fairview and Malton. These were expanded to twelve stops in September of 1959 with the addition of Arbor Road, Burnhamthorpe, Mineola, Ogden Avenue, Park Royal and Ridgewood.

By December 1959 the Bookmobile's monthly circulation had soared to 10,000 from 4869 as recorded in December 1958. By 1961 the Bookmobile was operating through the summer and in 1962 a stop at Lakeview was added. When the Meadowvale Branch closed in 1966 bookmobile service was added there. In January of 1965 a new truck was bought to pull the trailer, and in September 1970 the Board purchased a new bookmobile which went into operation in October of that year. The Board instituted a contest for designs for the exterior of the bookmobile to be submitted by Grades 12 and 13 art students in Mississauga. The designs of two students at T. L Kennedy Secondary School were chosen by the Board.

By 1977 the Library had developed new bookmobile stops based on the philosophy that, except for some of the well established stops in existence the bookmobile should visit those areas not served by existing branches. By 1988 the bookmobile schedule was again reviewed with a suggestion from the Board that stops at senior citizen homes and daycare centres be included, and in 1989 it was decided that bookmobile service should be extended to citizens of Mississauga "who by distance, age or physical barrier cannot easily use traditional facilities." This new orientation also included service to the handicapped and would lead to the amalgamation of the Bookmobile with the Library's Shut-in services, which had begun in October 1969, and was by this time operated by the Audio-Visual Department. Visiting Library Services, as this new Department was known, combined the Shut-in Service with the Bookmobile, providing full library service on wheels and in 1996 a new state-of-the-art bookmobile was purchased.

Bookmobile service was officially ended in June 2003 but the Homebound Services of the Visiting Library Services continues as part of the new Cooksville Branch which opens in 2004 under the name Cooksville Branch Library & Homebound Services.
Agency: Mississauga Library System
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