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This Mobile Library Is Giving San Antonio Free Books

Updated July 24, 2022

Running a Mobile Library has always been my dream

I have always loved going to the library as a kid (and as an adult), and I realize that not everyone has time in their busy schedules to go to the library. For those of us who are frugal, the library is an excellent resource for just about anything you can think of. I personally go to the library all the time, even more so now that I volunteer there twice a week.

As much as I loved going to the library, I thought Wouldn’t it be great if we could set up a library at a park? Thus, my Mobile Library was born. I started collecting books in January 2017 and had my first book meetup on March 11, 2017, at Arnold Park on the South Side of San Antonio. We gave away 60 books that day.

Fast forward to April 8, 2017, when we hosted our Meetup at the Harlandale Cultural Arts Festival. We were able to give away 273 books in 2 hours. One girl even had 11 books that she wanted to check out. All the money we raised will go towards purchasing more books for the mobile library.

A majority of the books are purchased at city libraries, so you are supporting them as well. Over the course of the last month, we have given away 382 books. I have to admit that’s a pretty amazing accomplishment.

Currently, I’m looking into graduate schools to become a librarian. I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone supportive of my dream. When I get the chance to see a kid’s face when they get excited over books, it truly warms my heart.

I’m also helping out college students by giving away used textbooks.  Believe me; I know they aren’t cheap. I love my beautiful city, and I want everyone to know how precious education is in this new era.

The Mobile Library in 2020

The pandemic totally changed our library. We were not allowed to do in-person events for a long time. We didn’t have any funding opportunities. We had to put the library on hiatus for about 7 months. In May 2020, I started building an online catalog so that people could place orders online for delivery. Unfortunately, the cases started going up during the holidays, and we had to shut down the library again.

While we were on lockdown, we managed to give out over 1,000 books to San Antonio residents safely. We implemented new cleaning protocols to ensure that every book was safe to deliver. In addition, we quarantined all of our donations for a minimum of 4 days.

Now that all of our volunteers (me and my mom) are fully vaccinated, we have begun the process of adapting our mobile library to 2021. We are still trying to navigate our plans to return to in-person events. We are also building our archive. Unfortunately, there is so much to do and not enough time to do it!

We are now very close to our original goal of 10,000 books. Since we couldn’t be out in public for a long time, we spent that time building our archive. We are so happy to be able to help the community in any way we possibly could. We helped so many people transition to online working and school. We also partnered with a few organizations to distribute books when we couldn’t do it ourselves. We are slowly building back our donation supply, and we are so grateful to everyone who has donated books so far.

2 years of free books

The Mobile Library in 2022

A lot has changed here at the Mobile Library. We aren’t giving away 5,000 books a year like we used to when we first started. As of July 2022, we have given away 12,000 books. We still have a lot to books to give away, but we are working on organizing them so we can find them easier. We are taking a break right now, but we things settle down we will keep going.

I am happy to announce that in December 2021, I received my master’s degree in Library Science. I am now a certified librarian.

Thank you for all your support. We cannot do any of this without you.

If you are interested, I wrote a children’s book called The Legend of Miss Ruth The Mobile Librarian.

If you would like more information, check out my library page.

If you want to support our library, make a donation here.

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