Charlotte Sultan

In the late 1950s, when my third child went to kindergarten, I went back to the University of Minnesota to finish my degree. I majored in history with a library science minor.

After graduation, I was hired by the Dakota County Library System. I had the great fun of being on the bookmobile 2 days a week. I would check the shelves and then restock them for our trip out for the day. The large bookmobile, the size of a city bus, parked at a small strip mall for the day. The smaller one, which I recall loved, traveled the back roads of Burnsville, MN, parked for an hour in driveways around the area. As we drove, our driver would stop by apple trees, reach out the window, and pick a couple for is to munch on as we made our way over the dirt roads. At various farms where we parked, we would buy produce from the local farmers and come home with carloads of corn, zucchini, apples, tomatoes, and anything else that was growing along the way.

We wore green smocks over our clothes when we worked on the bookmobile. The driver checked out the books to patrons at one end of the bookmobile. I helped them find books, took requests, and chatted with patrons, who became our friends and looked forward to seeing us each week.

After a few years, a new library was built in the area, and the bookmobile retired. The new building was very beautiful and well attended, but I missed the homey feeling of the bookmobile.

When I moved to La Mesa, California in 1976, I worked at the new Chula Vista library on F Street for several years. I no longer met the patrons as I was assigned to Technical Services.

Libraries have a very special meaning to my life.