In 1982, citing the prospect of someday having to replace the 26-year old
vehicle and given a preference for reallocating the staff to the main library,
it was decided to suspend bookmobile service. That decision, however, met with
strong public opinion similar in size and intensity to the 1953 debate over the
closure of the New Monterey Branch Library. After an extensive evaluation
process and cost analysis in 1985, the City Council approved the expenditure of
$92,000 for the purchase of a new Bookmobile. In July 1986, after a four-year
hiatus, the Monterey Public Library Bookmobile was back on the road.
The second Bookmobile was a 24 foot Gerstenslager, affectionately called,
“Gertie”. It served the community for twenty two years, making neighborhood
stops, preschool and elementary school stops, stops at retirement communities,
and at the Old Monterey Marketplace. It also participated in the 4th of July
Parade and Lawn Party, and other community events.
When it was time for her to “go out to pasture”, Gertie was replaced in
November, 2008, with the current vehicle, which is a 30-foot long Farber ELF
(ELF being an acronym for Extra Low Floor), built on the back of a Ford 550
truck. This vehicle is a “green machine” using bio-diesel fuel. The lights and
computers are powered by solar panels. The low floor feature and ramp make it
possible for all customers to easily come on board, even those with walkers and
wheelchairs. Free Internet access is also available to Bookmobile visitors.