School Bookmobile

The School Bookmobile is dedicated to serving Waukegan Public School District 60 children in grades 1 – 3.  The Bookmobile offers:

  • English and Spanish easy books, beginning chapter novels, folk and fairy tales, nonfiction
  • Teacher support materials
  • Kindergarten Tools for Teachers Book Bags
  • Participation in local events, parades, festivities, etc.

We look forward to seeing you and your class on the Bookmobile!

Bookmobile History

In 2010 the neighborhood bookmobile, a  “A World on Wheels” themed  1996 Moroney bookmobile, was taken out of service.

Retired Neighborhood Bookmobile

Retired Neighborhood Bookmobile


Gertie Arrives

Grand Isle Gertie Arrives


Gertie Arrives at Jefferson Parish Library, Louisiana

March 23, 2006

Bookmobile Headed to New Orleans

News Release

March 10, 2006



“Gertie” the Waukegan Public Library’s bookmobile will be leaving Waukegan for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana via a transport truck on Friday, March 17—after several false starts. The bookmobile is being donated by the library to the Jefferson Parish library system as part of the hurricane relief effort. Funds to pay for the transportation were donated by local individuals including Robert Trambino, with the bulk being donated by the Gail Borden Public Library District Foundation.

The Waukegan library had been looking for a way to retire the oldest continuously running bookmobile in the United States. It is a Gerstenslanger, purchased in 1962, affectionately known as “Gertie.” During her 43 years of service, Gertie has logged only 50,000 miles while visiting Waukegan neighborhoods and schools.

Due to her advanced age driving the bookmobile was not an option. It was originally scheduled for rail transport last fall which fell through for insurance reasons. Once we let people know there was a problem many individuals and agencies stepped forward offering their services. “The response to our plight in getting the bookmobile transportation was so heartwarming,” explains Elizabeth Stearns, who manages public relations for the Waukegan library. “The phone was constantly ringing with offers to either drive the bookmobile or with donations.”

Nearly a quarter million items were lost from the collections at the 16 Jefferson Parish Library locations that were operating before the hurricanes. Most of the Jefferson Parish libraries sustained damage, and several will be closed indefinitely. A number are going through demolition and are still unable to reopen due to health and safety issues.

“I continually hear people say that having libraries open is part of their need for normalcy,” says Lon Dickerson, director of the Jefferson Parish Library System. “Schools are more dependent on us than ever before, and our library is essential to the rebuilding of this community’s economy. We greatly appreciate all of the support we have received and continue to receive; it makes the light at the end of the tunnel that much brighter.”

Bookmobile arrives in New Orleans

The bookmobile, and the books on it, have been donated as part of a larger relief effort organized by the Wheeling-based North Suburban Library System (NSLS) and the American Library Association. Gertie is full to capacity with over 300 boxes donated by the Lake Forest Library, Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire, Warren-Newport Public Library in Gurnee, the Wilmette Public Library and Romana Elementary Grade School in Wilmette.

“In addition to the book donations for Gertie, many more NSLS libraries have already made contributions to the Jefferson Parish Library. This has included not only books, but large monetary donations raised through book sales and other events,” said NSLS Director Sarah Long. “Even with their own ongoing funding challenges, libraries throughout the nation have rallied to assist our beleaguered sister libraries throughout the Gulf area.”