In the area around Iwaki, a small Japanese town near the Pacific coast in Fukushima prefecture, every child knows the distinctive FUSO Canter. “Iwaki-Go,” a mobile library based on the FUSO brand light truck. With the help of this iconic vehicle a dedicated team manages to provide all age groups with interesting reading material, while at the same time offering a unique place for exchange and meeting.
The micro-library on wheels visits several dozen communities, schools and educational institutions scattered throughout the mountainous region each month.
Functional, customized design
The design of this particular FUSO Canter, customized for this special purpose, is imaginative and functional. The side walls can be opened and directly invite visitors to browse the shelves. Inside and out, the space is optimally used for storage, providing room for around 3,000 books for a wide variety of target groups. On the outside, the vehicle is adorned with a distinctive design that appeals to young and old alike. Cute figures adorn a hilly landscape reminiscent of the home of “Iwaki-Go.” The vehicle is equipped with a loudspeaker and announces its arrival in small towns with music.
Passion for region and community
In March 2011, a tsunami triggered by a strong earthquake hit the coastal region of Fukushima, causing extensive damage to the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Iwaki, which is located 40km south of Fukushima, was not spared from damage. Although the town was far enough inland to avoid being directly hit by the tsunami, the violent tremors caused widespread damage to Iwaki General Library’s stock and buildings. Just two months after the disaster, the mobile library resumed operations in May 2011, giving the population back an important part of their community life.