Bookmobiles Connecting Rural Utah

Pete CodellaBroadband

Tooele County Mobile LibrarySince 1947, the Utah State Library Bookmobiles have provided full service mobile libraries to citizens living in rural communities. These rural communities often do not have access to all of the services provided at libraries in more urbanized parts of Utah.

While it may seem odd to put a library on wheels, these critical learning vehicles allow rural Utahns to borrow books and access the Internet and the latest technologies, such as audio and e-books.

In particular, access to the Internet allows these communities to better connect with the rest of the state and even the world. With revolving schedules, Bookmobiles tap into the state’s existing broadband networks giving patrons access.

In 2011, The Utah Broadband Project conducted a drive test, collecting data for mobile broadband speeds across the State of Utah.  This data provided Bookmobiles a better understanding where to locate their Bookmobile stops for better Internet availability and access.

Access to the Internet on Bookmobiles allows these rural communities to pay bills, conduct research, apply for jobs, access education portals and even be e-consumers. This access for many individuals and families is their only way of connecting to the Internet.

The Broadband Project will be conducting another drive test later this year, providing updated and accurate data on mobile broadband speeds, signal strength and technologies.