FRED (Freedom to Read, Educate & Discover) Bookmobile

Fast Facts:

2005 GMC Topkick/Kodiak Truck

FRED Around Town

FRED’s Adventures

Weight (unloaded) : 11793 kg
Dimensions (approx.) 914 cm L x 262 cm W x 330 cm H
Interior Electrics: powered by a shore cable (where hook-up available)
or onboard diesel-fueled 7.5 Kw generator
Ramp access available
Cruising: to a neighbourhood near you

At least as far back as 1962, then-Chief Librarian Gladys Shepley spoke for the Library Board when she wished for a bookmobile to provide library service to the outlying areas of the city; it was not until 2013 that plans to obtain a WPL bookmobile were revived by CEO Kitty Pope. Her connections with Guelph Public Library enabled her to obtain a surplus vehicle from that system. Over $30,000 was spent to purchase and refurbish the van, including being outfitted with WIFI and new computing equipment. The inaugural rollout occurred the second week of August, 2016.

A specially designed box atop a 2005 GMC TopKick chassis has the capacity to transport 5,000 volumes of books, videos, audio materials and tools housed on shelves on either side of a central aisle. A bench and table has been provided for the public to use with a laptop and printer. Onboard staff can create memberships as well as check out items for borrowers to use at home. Plans are for the bookmobile to travel to 8 to 10 stops each week – to parks, day care programs, retirement homes, and community events.

Christened FRED, the bookmobile not only promotes library objectives – Freedom to Read, Educate and Discover – but also pays tribute to a Fred C. Israel, a former chief librarian.


“Carnegie has had its day”, Windsor Star. February 9, 1962.

Katawazi, Miriam. “Modern bookmobile takes inaugural trip through Windsor”. Windsor Star. [online edition] (August 16, 2016).