Friday, February 15, 2013

You've Heard of Food Trucks...Now Meet a Book Truck!

Good afternoon constant reader.

You've doubtless heard about food truck centers - trucks converted to purveyors of yummy cuisine, usually found in a one stop area with other food trucks, where anything from burgers, cupcakes, shushi, etc., can be procured and eaten.

Now I want to introduce a new truck concept: The Book Truck.
Specifically The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library based in Houston, Texas.

The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library is the project of Chris Grawl and Kelly Allen.The pair has taken a library/bookstore combo and combined it with the food truck concept, and named said truck after Kurt Vonnegut's character Billy Pilgrim. With the truck, the duo intend to fill a need that libraries are not currently funded for.
The book truck works as a traveling library that works on a rent-barter-donate basis.
There is an annual membership fee, running $5 to $20 depending on the plan chosen. The $5 annual charge allows one item to be checked out, $20 allows five. There are no due dates, nor late fees.
Besides items to check out, they plan on offering reference and research services, wi-fi, a reservation system, mixtape trade, and book clubs.

Funding for the book truck came partially from an Indiegogo campaign, the rest out of Grawl's and Allen's pockets.

For the time being, the book truck will be found out and about on weekends, with most emphasis on Fridays and Sundays.
For now the only set time to find The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library will be tonight, February 15th from 5:30 - 9 pm at the HEB Montrose Market Friday Food Truck meetup, in Houston, Tx, and will be parking at HEB as often as the truck rotation will allow.
In future, the pair would like to schedule the book truck to appear at other sites of culture, tried and true truck friendly locations, museums, and coffee shops.
The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library will accept donations – books, CDs, DVDs, VHS, audio cassettes, vinyl, monetary gifts, or volunteer time.

This entire endeavor reminds me of times when I was growing up that my mother would take me to visit the book mobile that parked in a parking lot close to where we lived. I would peruse the shelves and carefully make my selections. The last clear memory I have of checking something out from the book mobile, is checking out a book on dinosaurs by E.L. Rey, creator of Curious George. Not too long after these visits, they built a branch library.
In this day and age of diminishing budgets for libraries, I think the book truck is a fantastic idea.

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