This year's Pimp my Bookcart contest had nearly a hundred submissions from all around the world. They came from schools, libraries, a book store, and a jail. There were carts made by kids, teenagers, and adults.

They were higher-quality than ever, which made judging extremely difficult. We're not exaggerating when we say that our shortlist was in the dozens. We finally hunkered down in an undisclosed location in Indianapolis and argued well into the night. In the end we followed our hearts.

The Winners

First Prize: Food for Thought

by Student Employees of Columbia University Library

We both love this with a mad passion. It made Bill homesick, and Gene hungry. We rarely agree on anything as easily as we did in giving this cart first prize. Succeeds in all of our judging categories! They win their choice of any Smith System book truck.

Second Prize: Phoenix Rising

by Harlem High School Welding 3

Clearly, this firetruck has the best finish of all the carts submitted this year. The level of detail is simply amazing, as is the story of why it was built. Harlem High School wins a Smith System Mini 3 sloping book truck in their choice of color.

Kid's Special Prize: Score Big @ the Library!

by Pennwood Branch of Bucks County Free Library

One of the most unexpected designs we saw this year – winner of the special runner up prize for carts entered by middle schoolers. Each kid who contributed wins an Unshelved book and the t-shirt of their choice.

Runner-Up: Joad's Jalopy

by Briargate Branch of Pikes Peak Library District

Amazing combination of presentation and execution to turn the book cart into a jalopy. They win a gift certificate to the Unshelved store and a Smith mini book truck card holder.

Runner-Up: Bookmobile Mini-Me

by Washington County Free Library Bookmobile Department

We both wish there had been a close-up of the Mini-me Bookmobile – looks like an amazing reproduction. They win a gift certificate to the Unshelved store and a Smith mini book truck card holder.

Runner-Up: Libraries Build Knowledge

by Mohave County Library - Lake Havasu City Branch

Simple but very pleasing and well done. They win a gift certificate to the Unshelved store and a Smith mini book truck card holder.

Runner-Up: Animal Crackers

by York County Public Library- Tabb Technical Services Dept.

Pleasing and very unexpected! But we felt it relied too much on preprinted elements (probably from a display or store advertisement) to receive one of the top prizes. They win a gift certificate to the Unshelved store and a Smith mini book truck card holder.

Runner-Up: The Cat in the Hat Reshelving and Cleaning Machine

by UCSD Libraries

Our favorite of the Seussian carts because of the finish and the presentation. They win a gift certificate to the Unshelved store and a Smith mini book truck card holder.

Runner-Up: Optimus Bookcart

by Forest Hills Branch Library

Gene just loved that this one actually transforms (and he’s not a Transformers fan). They win a gift certificate to the Unshelved store and a Smith mini book truck card holder.

: Indiana Jones

by Wayne Branch Library

Had a chance to see this one in person in Indianapolis – the painted on wood paneling is particularly well done.

: Books with Bite

by Otis Library

: Bee a Reader

by Spokane County Library District

Nicely done with a great presentation.

: We've Got Ya'll Covered!

by Univ. Of Texas At Arlington Library

: Dr. Seuss Cart

by Teens of the Free Library of Northampton Township

: Welcome to The Jungle!

by East Greenbush Library Teens

: Reading Paradise

by Southampton Free Library

Love the hammock.


by Warminster Township Free Library

: Dive into Reading

by Westminster Public Library

Well executed underwater design.

: Catch the Reading Bug

by Westminster Public Library

Very pleasing – really like the way the back of the ladybug opens.

: Dewey Marks the Spot

by Concordia University, St. Paul Library Technology Center

Our favorite touch: the Dewey treasure map.

: Music Then & Now

by Levittown Regional Library

: The Jetson's Skypad Apartments

by Fort Belknap College Library

Simple and pleasing – would have gotten an award if it didn’t rely on branded props to the extent it does.

: Mario Kart

by McAlester Public Library Teen Group

Took Gene a while to realize this is Mario Kart (despite it being in the description) – great design that really recalls the car in the game.

: Find Your Treasure In A Book

by Yorktown Branch (York County Public Library-Yorktown, VA)

: Get Tempted @ Your Library

by Alexander Mack Memorial Library, Bridgewater College, Virginia

Nancy Pearl really is a temptress!

: Green Eggs and Ham

by Tabb Library

One of Gene’s favorite Dr. Seuss books, and the only cart in the shape of a book entered this year.

: Book Cab

by Teen Advisory Board of the Mount Airy Public Library

: Haunted Triple-Decker-Bus

by Lenawee County Library

Spooky! (Reminds Gene of that Shatner movie with the spiders.)

: Candyland!

by Beltsville's Teen Advisory Board

: B Creative @ Your Library

by North Dakota State Library

Love those flight attendants!

: S.S. Kidscare

by Brier Library

Well executed pirate ship.

: Firetruck

by Deer Run Library

A good fire truck – our favorite element: the lights.

: Books With Bite!

by LCF Teen Volunteers

: Vote!

by The Learning Curve @ Central Library (Indianapolis)

: Corney the Agassiz Bookcart

by Agassiz Library Society: Friends of the Library

A star is corn! (totally stole that)

: A good book will keep your blood a PUMP-KIN!

by Bryant Public Library Teen Advisory Board

Like the pumpkins.

: We're Not A One-Horse Show Anymore!

by Custer County Library Staff

: A la "cart"

by Scottsdale Culinary Institute

We really liked the simplicity and appropriateness of this, along with the fact that the cloth matches the cart.

: Inara's Bookcart

by James Cook High School Library (New Zealand)

We're suckers for a Joss Whedon reference.

: Wall-e at the Library!

by Bensalem Branch, Bucks County Free Library

Really liked the arms and the eyes on this one – nicely done.

: Old Glory

by Carnegie Public Library - East Liverpool, Ohio

: Spook-mobile

by Rolling Hills Consolidated Library Ref. department

Combines both the horse theme and the spooky Teen Read Week theme!

: Cart-ouche

by Round Lake Area Public Library

Best attempt to pander to the judges, and a great setting – we both want copies of the cartouche! (Is that my boss?)

: Recycling Rummage Reader Ralph

by Culpeper County Library Two Teen Power

Awesome extemporaneous cart!

: Five little monkeys

by Maria A Shchuka Library (TPL)

: Pretty Rad Bookcart

by Union West Regional Public Library 2008 Teen Library Corps group

: Frank the Dog Cart

by Bristol Public Library

: K-9

by Sandown High School Library Club

We hope they bring back K-9, too.

: The Pope Mobile

by Catholic University - Mullen Library

Excellent setting!

: Pirate ship

by Acadia Jr. High

: Harry Potter's Knight Bus

by Young Adult council (YAC), Frances Perkins Branch of the Worcester (MA) Public Library

: Cat-aloging on the Go Cart

by Davenport Public Library -- Technical Services Department

: Sailing Through History

by St. Charles City-County Library District

: Get Hooked On Reading!

by Mount Laurel Library

: Libraries & Patrons: HEA

by Laurel-Jones County Library

: The Seussmobile

by Jefferson County Library - Arnold Branch Teen Club

: Diva-licious

by Fairfax County Public Library/Tysons-Pimmit Branch

: East Coast Twilight

by TAG @ Rockaway Twp Public Library, NJ

: Haunted Library

by Pleasant Park Library Club

: Dewey Davidson

by Hot Springs Public Library

: All Aboard the Trolley Bus!

by Cambridge University Library

: cartillery tank

by McCracken County Public Library


: The Hallo-Wiener

by Kewanee Public Library-Junior High Board

: Spongebob Squarepants!

by T.A.G. of West Las Vegas Library - Las Vegas-Clark County Library District

: Peanuts!

by Withee Public Library

: Good vs Evil

by MGHS Library Club

Reminds Gene of that Star Trek episode “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” (thanks Google!)

: Books with Bite

by Central Falls High School


: Knight Kart

by Central Michigan University Charles V.Park Library

Best “Knight Bus”

: "There never was a good war or a bad peace."

by Olympia Timberland Library teens!

: Reading Opens Doors

by Gadsden State Community College, Cherokee Campus Library

: Survivor: Ike

by Montgomery County Library

Great presentation.

: Research Help, Five Cents!

by Gardner-Harvey Library, Miami University Middletown

Well executed.

: Purely Periodicals

by Fairfax County Public Library/Tysons-Pimmit Branch

: Extreme Librarians

by Jefferson County Public Library Bookcart Drill Team

: Makeover My Bookcart:Saved by Olivia!

by City of San Antonio: Las Palmas Branch

: Roadrunner Graffiti

by Reynolds Secondary School

Loved the graffitti.

: Wii Like Libraries!!!

by Pueblo City-County Library District - Teen Advisory Board

Hiding the Wii and the projector in the cart was genius. Favorite element: fake sockets in the back of the “console”.

: Loch Ness Monster

by Multnomah County Library-Midland Teen Council

Well executed and original. Love the fish in the water.

: Wild Things

by Palo Alto Children's Library

Another great boat!

: Summit County Fair

by Akron Summit County Fairlawn-Bath Branch

: Philly Cheesesteak

by Ursinus College Myrin Library

Great setting. books = meat = original.

: Zen Cart

by Brewitt Neighborhood Library, Long Beach Public Library

: Fast Pursuit Book Trolley Mark 1

by Withheld

Working lights!

: Snoopy Reads

by Iroquois Ridge High School

Our favorite of the several Peanuts-themed carts this year. Simple but well executed.

: horti-cart

by LISSA, University of South Carolina

Spooky. And a little unsettling.

: Book Booty

by Akron-Summity County Children's Library

: Crimson Cardinal

by Mayfield Middle School

Our favorite among the horse-like carts this year.

: Old McDonald Had a Cart

by North Hill Branch of Akron Summit PL

: Poof!

by Wellington Branch Library Teen Advisory Group

: Bookasaurus

by Vroman's Bookstore Hastings Ranch

Our favorite of the dinosaur carts, love the way he eats those herbs.

: The Cat in the Tub

by Hopewell Branch Library

: Florida High Graphic Novel Heroes

by The Florida State University Schools

The part of the cart with the art is quite smart.

: Castle Cart

by Samuel Pierce Library, BCFL

: We let the PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS!!!!

by The BBS @ ACS

Another great vehicle. The color of the paper matches the paint job on the cart very well!

: Santa's Sleigh

by Half Price Books

Ho ho ho!

: Get Lost in a Book

by Maryland Correctional Training Center

Make sure you see all 96 entries !