Out West student blog

The Grand Bookmobile Tour

Showing off the bookmobile! (photo credit: Emily Mathay)

By Theiline Pigott '20
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Major: Linguistics
Curatorial Intern, Yellowstone National Park Heritage and Research Center

Towards the end of my 10 weeks in Yellowstone, I was invited to join the bookmobile tour. Every month the librarians upstairs at the Heritage and Research Center (HRC) load up the government van with hundreds of books relating to Yellowstone. I'm talking about histories of Yellowstone, scientific books about the nature of Yellowstone, and yes, steamy romance novels set in Yellowstone. (You can guess which genre is most popular!) I traveled with the library and archives interns around the entire 3,000+ square miles of the park, delivering books to ranger stations. From Mammoth to West Thumb to Canyon Village, we drove the bookmobile all around bringing books and joy – stopping for the iconic Wilcoxsons ice cream at Old Faithful of course!

HRC Interns hard at work. (photo credit: Theiline Pigott)

Driving through the park and talking to Rangers reminded me how wonderful this place really is. The people working at Yellowstone love being here. They love the wild nature surrounding them, the numerous animals living here, seeing the amazement in tourists eyes when they watch Old Faithful erupt for the first time, finding a perfect trail to hike on. Maintaining the park’s state of untouched nature while keeping it open for the public to enjoy can be a difficult balance. At the HRC we often talk about how to preserve the artifacts that we have but also how to let the public see the amazing artifacts of the park. Conservation and public enjoyment may seem to be at odds with each other, but so long as there are passionate and thoughtful people working at Yellowstone the balance between the two forces will be found.

Double rainbow across Mt. Everts. (photo credit: Theiline Pigott)

On the way back north to the HRC the sky darkened. Our previously bright and sunny day turned to a race against time and the oncoming thunderstorm. Our brave little bookmobile-that-could returned to the HRC as cold rain fell. All the interns ran to get the remaining books back into the library before the rain could soak them. It was a rushed and wild end to a long day, but once we returned to our dorms after work we were greeted with a beautiful sight: a double rainbow arched in the evening sky above us.









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