Health Library on Wheels: Public transportation buses delivering health messages and spreading love to reading in Zahedan, Southeast of Iran

Library on Wheels (LOW) is a unique bookmobile service, dedicated to serving our community in new and exciting ways. Even in the digital age, they are like a free access to the internet. They bring answers to questions people were looking for, and they bring entertainment (1). The first bookmobile in the world operated in Great Britain in the mid-19th century. Launched in 1857 by a philanthropist George Moore, the horse-drawn wagon served books from bookshelves mounted on the outside. This "perambulating" library traveled between eight villages in the Cumbria County, in North West England (2).

The Library on Wheels (Bookmobiles) is a mobile branch of the library serving underserved and/or economically disadvantaged areas (3). A tradition of delivering library services using special vehicles is present in the United States, France, Japan, India, Canada, Germany, Australia, Spain, Ghana, Sweden, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, and lots of other places around the globe. Bookmobile, book truck, book wagon, bookbus, bibliobus, mobile library - no matter which name you use, these vehicles are among the man"s most important inventions. Most importantly, each bookmobile has its story.

The first bookmobile in Iran called "Ketabraneh" was created by an Iranian couple: Mahdi Yazdani and Sarvenaz Heraner. It started in 2009 and has been considered as the first mobile bookshop in Iran since then. This couple used their own private car and some selected books and music. They pick up people in the streets and start reading books to them and through a friendly conversation, they promote hope, peace and the art of reading and encourage the citizens to read more, think better and keep improving. They have been introduced in the media and websites to the public. "Ketabraneh" was acknowledged by UN as a cultural example in 2012. It has been supported by "Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance" since 2013.

Our Story
In 2016, Inspired by the "ketabraneh" project launched by Mr. Yazdani, the Vice Chancellor for Health, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences planned to convert the urban public buses into public health bookmobiles. Following a series of negotiations, the Zahedan Bus Services Organization kindly accepted the proposal and a Memorandum of Understanding was signed. For this purpose, a small library commensurate with the urban bus space was prepared and installed in the appropriate place inside the bus. A variety of public health materials were provided by Vice Chancellor for Health. Hence, a section of the indoor spaces was equipped with a "Health Ketabraneh" to allow passengers to take advantage of this opportunity while studying health topics.

Our Mission

The "Health Ketabraneh" aims to improve health literacy rates and to raise awareness of health-related issues at a community level in Zahedan, southeast of Iran. The provide public health educational materials, including; books, pamphlets, flyers, brochures and posters. Key public health publications are being distributed in different neighborhoods of Zahedan on those 25 public transportation buses that have been equipped with mobile public health libraries. While driving in streets of Zahedan, the book buses give people a ride and at the same time the designed reading environment in the vehicle make their passengers familiar with the latest public health materials published in the country. By inspiring the bus passengers to read those materials, "Health Ketabraneh" has been helping people to strengthen the reading culture in the society.
Thanks to the support of our enthusiastic Community Health Volunteers (CHVs), the "Health Ketabraneh" has been able to make a real difference to promote public health in our society. For each bus, two CHVs have been assigned who, while distributing some health education media between the passengers, answer the questions of the person and are responsible for overseeing and tracking the "Health Ketabrane". Similar to CHVs, the bus drivers have been attracted to support the project.
Special thanks to Zahedan Bus Services Organization for making this service possible

Copyright © 2018 Zahedan University of Medical Sciences. All rights reserved. Date Updated: 02/11/2018
Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us on:

1. Berkeley Public Library. Library On Wheels 2014 [cited 2018]. Available from:
2. Ebook Friendly. 50 vintage bookmobiles from around the world 2018 [updated Jan 20, 2018; cited 2018]. Available from:
3. San Francisco Public Library. Library On Wheels 2018 [cited 2018]. Available from:




Date : 1396/11/24 ١٢:٠٦
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