Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

current issue

June – July 2024 : Reflections READ ONLINE


Books on wheels

September 26 2009
The Quaker Mobile Library offers a good read on the streets of London A good book is an important part of life, and, with the evenings drawing in, finding a well-lit spot and warming yourself in the pages of a novel is more important that ever. But if you're not inclined to buy them on the Charing Cross Road, borrowing them from a library is the best solution, and who better to visit than the Quaker Mobile Library? Many day centres and hostels keep adequate stocks of books, but they tend to be older titles and lack the dedicated care of a librarian, and some libraries are difficult to borrow from without a permanent address. However, the Quaker Mobile Library offers a good selection of books and the advice of their librarians even if they are librarian/drivers. This service began in 1999, when a member of Quaker Homeless Action (QHA) suggested that there was an unmet need for books to be brought to bibliophile rough sleepers. Why not a Mobile Library service? The idea was duly taken up, an old BT van was bought and adapted for the purpose. The project was launched. The Quaker Mobile Library, now housed in a new van (pictured with its distinctive phoenix motif - the first van caught fire and subsequently rose from the ashes), has proved popular, as seen by the variety of books sought, borrowed and usually returned. Having sufficient books has not been a problem for the library, and they keep well stocked shelves. A pleasant aspect of the Quaker Mobile Library is the librarians, who are very welcoming and will look out for titles on request. They are looking to improve the service's frequency, but present times can be found in the service listings.