The New York Public Library Takes Its Show on the Road with the Official Launch of Bookmobile Service

First of a new three-vehicle fleet begins service on Tuesday, June 18 at P.S. 11 in the Bronx

JUNE 18, 2019—The New York Public Library Bookmobile is on the move.

After about two months of testing, the first of the Library system’s three planned bookmobiles hit the streets this morning, launching service at PS 11 in the Highbridge section of the Bronx. New York Public Library President Tony Marx cut the ribbon on the new vehicle and then welcomed about 100 K–5 students from the school to get library cards, browse, talk to librarians, and check out books.

“The New York Public Library has always been a driving force for reading and learning in New York City—now we can say that quite literally,” said New York Public Library President Tony Marx. “Our new Bookmobile will help us sustain service in areas of the Bronx coping with much-needed branch renovations, and allow us to deliver books, services, and knowledge directly to patrons. With apologies to Mr. Softee, we think it will be the borough’s sweetest ride this summer and beyond.”  

“Being around books instills a love of reading and learning in our students,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “Thank you to our partners at the New York Public Library for advancing equity by bringing more books to the children of the Bronx. The Bronx Bookmobile will spark excitement and creativity in our students, and help expand their horizons and broaden their imaginations all summer long.”

“We want to thank the New York Public Library for delivering on its promise to build literacy and strengthen families in the Bronx and at PS 11 The Highbridge School with its new Bookmobile,” said Roseanna Gulisano, school librarian at PS 11. “Our students and families appreciate New York Public Library for partnering with our community and making sure our Bookmobile dream came true!”

The new Bookmobile will offer curbside service in various Bronx communities—especially those impacted by temporary library branch closures due to important improvements and renovations—and make special trips to schools, senior centers, and other community organizations. Its primary focus in the coming months will be to support the community impacted by the one-year closure of Grand Concourse Library (more information about that project here). The Library Bookmobile will serve that community two days a week for the duration of the project, with two additional days added in June, July, and August.

The Bookmobile—which was tested at several community events (such as the Bronx Book Festival and the Bronx Terminal Market’s Kidsfest )—is staffed by two Library employees. It can transport up to 1,000 books for patrons of all ages that have either been requested for checkout (patrons can place books, DVDs, or any other circulating materials on hold to pick up at the Bookmobile) or can be browsed curbside. Books can also be returned or renewed, and New Yorkers can sign up for library cards and receive reference and reader services.

The schedule and location of the Bookmobile (subject to change based on weather and staffing levels) are available at and via Twitter at @nyplbookmobile.  

Bronx elected officials are excited to see the Bookmobile hit the streets.

“We need to continue encouraging reading among young people and adults alike,” said Congressman Jose E. Serrano. “The New York Public Library Bookmobile will offer curbside service in communities across the Bronx, including schools, senior centers, and other community organizations. With this new service, it will be easier than ever for people, in particular those affected by the temporary closure of the Grand Concourse location, to browse the library’s collections right in their neighborhoods without having to travel too far. I’m proud to support the NYPL work to make this happen.”

“Reading is an exciting way to explore new ideas and travel to new destinations without ever leaving your home,” Bronx Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner said. “Reading expands imaginations and opens doors of opportunity for inquisitive young minds. I congratulate The New York Public Library and the Bronx Bookmobile for visiting P.S. 11 Highbridge and providing such easy access to books and library cards.”

Two more bookmobiles are expected to get rolling this fall. All of the vehicles were funded by the City of New York.

The vehicles—nearly 20-foot-long vans wrapped in bright red and sporting the iconic New York Public Library lion logo—are the first New York Public Library Bookmobiles to serve the public in decades, and the latest chapter in a long history of bookmobile service. Various “book vans,” “bookwagons,” and “traveling libraries” were used by The New York Public Library over its 124-year history to bring books and information directly to communities.


About The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming, and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves nearly 17 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at