Mobile Pop-Up Libraries: 12 Temporary & Traveling Book Lenders

Camel Library

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Dashdondog Jamba has devoted his life to writing, translating, publishing and transporting books to children all over Mongolia, making the trips by camel, horseback or ox carts. The library has traveled 50,000 miles through every province of the country over the last 20 years. Most of Mongolia’s libraries were converted to banks after the nation abandoned communism, so children in remote areas didn’t have access to books.

The ‘Tell a Story’ Book Van

traveling libraries tell a story

An eye-catching blue vintage van hawks its collection of books throughout the streets of Lisbon, Portugal, gaining the kind of public attention that a tucked-away bookstore never could. The ‘Tell a Story’ project adapts the exterior of a 1975 Renault Estafette to add bookshelves stocked with more than a dozen Portuguese classics that have been translated into English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

Handmade Library on Wheels

traveling libraries handmade

Retired Italian school teacher Antonio La Cava wasn’t ready to give up spreading the love of reading to children after retiring from 42 years of teaching, so he bought a used Ape motorbike and converted it into a portable library. The truck features a traditional tiled roof and holds 700 books. La Cava takes it on a weekly 8-stop route throughout the villages of Italy’s southern Basilicata region.

Portland’s Little Free Libraries

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In Portland, Oregon, you’ll spot what look like oversized bird houses outside homes all over the city, each filled with books. The ‘Little Free Library’ project has inspired the sharing of books in virtually every neighborhood, with each location mapped out online. Anyone can stop by and pick up a book, and then bring back another book to share with others.