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Bert Thomas and young patrons next to an LAPL Bookmobile
Alternative Title
Security Pacific National Bank Photo Collection
Friezer, Joe
Date Created and/or Issued
Circa 1955
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at for additional information.
Title supplied by cataloger.
As early as 1949 these bookmobiles, or "libraries on wheels", began taking books to the mostly disadvantaged, low-income areas, or the outlying sections of the city where community libraries had not been established. The Los Angeles Public Library's fleet of bookmobiles was comprised of 3 large vans usually loaded with 4,000 books, and a smaller one known as "Little Toot" that usually carried 3,000 books. They had 28 scheduled stops each week to such places as housing developments, shopping centers, parks, and schools that varied anywhere from an hour to three hours. It is estimated that these Traveling Branches circulated almost 250,000 volumes a year.
Eleven children stand next to a Los Angeles Public Library Bookmobile, which has been decorated for the Christmas season with garland, large plastic candy canes, and large plastic bells. A man identified as Bert Thomas, possibly a librarian or the van's driver, is holding a balloon out to a little boy dressed as Santa Claus. The balloons read: "Merry Christmas to all of you" and "Visit your inner city bookmobiles in your area".
1 photographic print :b&w ;21 x 26 cm.
Photographic prints
Security Pacific National Bank Collection
Los Angeles Public Library
Christmas decorations--California--Los Angeles
Bookmobiles--California--Los Angeles
Libraries--California--Los Angeles
Children--California--Los Angeles

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