How do people in remote areas get books?
People in remote areas get books by lending them in Bookbuses or Mobile libraries.
I got the question to here Rovaniemi, Northern Finland. But the same is in the remote places in Eastern Finland or Ostrobothnia.
There are bookbuses in 12 municipalicities from 21municipalities in Lapland and two bookbuses, which are common with many communities also in Sweden and Norway.
“Collaboration with the neighbouring area also involves the activities of two mobile libraries: the Muonio mobile library runs in four municipalities in Finland, in Sweden and Norway and the Karasjoki mobile library in three municipalities in Finland and Norway. The joint bookmobile supports and strengthens the regional identity in the area. Joint mobile libraries make the use of resources more effective and the entire existence of the service in general possible. The Ministry of Education and Culture supports collaboration projects and the joint mobile services with state aid.” Text by Hannu Sulin 24.8.2012 in Rovaniemi
Mobile library of Rovaniemi
Rovaniemi´s Rural community bought a first bookbus in 1972. The Seventies were real “golden age”, because in whole Lappland there could be as much as a half million loans per year from all bookbuses. Today Rovaniemi has two buses. Some numerical data:
Bus 1: Mercedes Benz 1835 from the year 2005
Bus 2: Mercedes Benz 1829, from the year 1998.
Models of 1998 and 2005
31 routes, 242 stops
235 days/ year, 1874 hours
The buses have different routes. There are long countryside-routes and short but vivid visits to schools and kindergartens nearby Rovaniemi. The longest routes stretch over 230 kilometers long, the shortest are just “behind the corner”. It seems that in future action will focus even more to the town-area. The reason for this is people´s aging in countryside, old bookbus-stops are vanishing slowly. On the other hand there has been a need for bookbuses in Rovaniemi town-area, and after bond of Rovaniemi district and Rovaniemi Rural community many new stops were born. The mobile library arrives every second week and customers have always four weeks loans.
Who are customers of our bookbuses? It is hard to say who is a typical one. We have expecially in countryside customers, who have used our service decades. On the other hand we have hundreds of children and young people, who are just learning how to use the bookbuses. And for the many of them, our buses are the first touch into library. It just happens to be a mobile one. And because of that, it is always near. If there is different customers, we got to have different material, too. We have albumes for the smallest ones, exciting books for teenagers and traditional books for adult ones. Specially in the bookbuses there is own categories of books handling hunting and war. This seems to be unique even comparing to other Nordic countries. We have also a wast collection of magazines and comics. From our buses can even be found some music-cd:s and movie-dvd:s. Old types of VHS and C-cassette are disappearing.
For bookbus-driver northern location brings some unique problems. Of course there are sunny, dry summerdays. But at worst the work is to be done in slippery winter-weather, sometimes in extreme cold or on dirt-roads which are turning into a bog. The dirt-roads are usually in poor condition at autumn and spring. If the weather seems to be too dangerous, usually slippery, we have to stay at garage. Throughout year by the routes are almost unconsciously wandering reindeers and more clever, but much bigger mooses. In town area a size of the bus causes sometimes problems. So awareness is needed in this work, and a right attitude to serve customers, of course. Text by Mauri Aittaniemi 24.8.2011
There is something about libraries in Lapland http://www.splq.info/issues/vol43_3/09.htm