Bookmobile Service Discontinued
The Library Discontinued its Bookmobile Service on October 1, 2012.
Boise Public Library discontinued its Bookmobile service on October 1, 2012. The decision was made as part of a successful citywide effort to address the city’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget shortfall.
The discontinuation was approved last year (2011) by the Library’s Board and by the City Council. The decision was based in part on declining usage of the service, plus the multiple issues presented by an aging vehicle.
In the past year, the Bookmobile accounted for less than 2% of the Library’s 2.3 million checkouts and its 1.5 million customer visits. (Past 52 weeks ending July 31, 2012) Since July 2007, Bookmobile checkouts decreased -62%, with customer visits decreasing -40%. In the same five years, system-wide checkouts increased +46% and customer visits increased +21%, in part due to the opening of three new branch libraries in 2008 and 2009.
The Library has struggled to keep the 18-year-old Bookmobile bus on the road over the last few years, due to a variety of ongoing mechanical issues. Besides the ongoing yearly budget of $82,500 for fuel, staff, maintenance and repairs, keeping the service alive would require a $100,000-$500,000 investment in a new vehicle.
We would like to thank our Bookmobile customers for their loyalty over the years and encourage those who haven’t tried our full-service branch libraries to give them a try:
History of the Library’s Bookmobile Service
The Bookmobile service was initiated in 1965 to expand library service in the city and to reduce crowding in the Carnegie building. The current bus was purchased in 1994. For many years, the Bookmobile operated five days a week, stopping at eight locations throughout Boise. The schedule was reduced to three days serving six locations after the opening of three neighborhood branch libraries in 2008 and 2009.