In April Rochester Public Library (MN) launched the BookBike outreach program. RPL’s BookBike, a little library on wheels, will visit locations within a one-mile radius of the downtown library this spring, summer and fall. Pulled by library staff on bicycles, RPL’s BookBike offers library books, library cards, program information, assistance with digital materials, bike trail maps and fun incentives for kids.
The BookBike is in its infant stages, but we are already making a difference in our community. We are connecting with residents who would not have thought to enter the library doors, promoting biking as a transportation option, and creating positive relationships with kids and their grown ups. We are looking forward to a summer full of fun, biking and pedaling good books. (Get it?)
In order to staff the BookBike we have made some hard choices about in-house programming, ultimately deciding to put the bulk of our summer efforts into outreach. We have a full schedule for May and June, with the rest of the summer expected to fill up soon. We don’t operate on a regular schedule, but work around special events and activities and fill in other days with visits to local grocery stores, parks and other locations.
The BookBike project was funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, through a Community Collaboration grant from Southeast Libraries Cooperating (SELCO).
It’s a brilliant thing. And it’s wonderful to see someone in such a cold climate doing it. Who can I contact at RPL to find out more about the bike?
You can email me directly at email@example.com and we can set up a time to chat. Thank you for your kind words 🙂
I would like to post this message to my son’s timeline as he rides bikes all the time in SF . there is no button to do so.
Hi Marya, I would suggest copying and pasting the link address to your son’s timeline: https://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/2015/05/rpl-bookbike-shifting-gears-its-how-we-roll/
This is one of the best articles about libraries I’ve read in a while! What a concept: “In order to staff the BookBike we have made some hard choices about in-house programming, ultimately deciding to put the bulk of our summer efforts into outreach.”
At our state’s annual library conference last year the conversation was all about how we need to get out of our buildings and into the community. Kudos to RPL for this project that is a winner on so many levels.
I love this! And second M.A. Pelletier’s remarks about praise for your outreach efforts. You have set some gears turning! Thanks for posting this!
What a great idea! Are the bikers volunteers from the community?
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