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Meet The Mobile Library

We’re not only reinventing how you sign up for The Sketchbook Project, but we are rethinking the whole idea of tours and how they travel. Before we formally introduce the Mobile Library, the new normal for traveling with The Sketchbook Project, here’s a brief history of what lead to this momentous occasion.

Books submitted to The Sketchbook Project did not always go on tour. A few years ago we thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be great if the books could travel so other people could check them out in person?” Of course the answer was a resounding, “Yes, that would be awesome!”

The Tour has evolved ever since, from sketchbooks packed in painted cardboard boxes that were driven to shows in the back of a car, to a truck loaded with all the components of an exhibition.

The idea for The Mobile Library came out of the concept that we wanted to make the project more sustainable and easier to get around. What if we had an exhibition that was completely mobile, taking only minutes to set up? It would change everything!

Less than a year later we took that idea and made it into the reality of The Mobile Library - 16’ of Sketchbook toting perfection, custom designed to fit every demand of sharing the Sketchbook Project with more people in more places. We tried to think about every aspect of exhibitions on the road, and we’re proud to formally introduce you to our latest creation.

Here are some of the specs and highlights so you can know the Mobile Library inside and out before it hits a town near you:

The Exterior

A standard trailer body was altered to create three windows on the curb-facing side of the vehicle. The result is a hybrid food truck/art library, where instead of coming inside the Library, you approach from the outside while our friendly Tour Crew helps you check out some books. 

Two square windows flank either side and were designed to fit laptops. Here, you queue up to make a library card and check out books using our kiosk. The large center window has a hydraulic hinge to stay open while you are handed your books and return them when you’re finished.

Custom vinyl lettering on the exterior lets people know who we are and what we’re doing. As the Mobile Library hits the road with different tours, we’ll outfit the back of the trailer to reflect what we currently have on board. The vinyl also gives you clear instructions for how things work:

Step 1: Get a library card

Step 2: Check out books

Step 3: Pick up books

Step 4: Return books

The Interior

The inside of the trailer is decked out with just as many details. Lining most of the available wall space are shelves designed to fit the dimensions of Sketchbook Project books. These unique shelves also have a mechanism that can slide up and down to lock the books into place while we’re driving the rough terrain from stop to stop.

The ceiling is equipped with track lighting and outlets to hook up to power sources wherever we may be. We use a wireless device to get internet to the laptops and mobile devices that have become an integral part of tour.

We’ve already taken to the road for the inaugural A Landmark & A Mission Tour with books curated from the existing Sketchbook Project collection. Anyone new to the project will get their sketchbook and assign it to a Tour. A Tour basically tells you where the Mobile Library is going, when it will be there, and which books will be on board. For more info on the Tours: click here

Click here to become part of the reinvented Sketchbook Project!

Oh, and don’t forget to honk if you see us rolling down your street.

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