Blogger Heather Acerro

RPL’s ArtCart: Spinning Creativity

Collaborative Community Mural at Pride Fest

Back in April, when we were looking forward to the start of summer in Minnesota, Rochester Public Library introduced a new ArtCart. The ArtCart complements our 2015 Local Government Innovation Award-winning BookBike, a bicycle pulled trailer that provides access to books and DVDs, library cards, and advisory services within downtown and in nearby low-income neighborhoods. Over summer 2017 the ArtCart, an art room on wheels, traveled alongside the BookBike bringing fun and creative activities to the community.





Q Tip Pointilism

Some of our favorite art activities included:

  • Flyswatter Painting
  • Salad Spinner Art
  • Q-Tip Pointilism
  • Collaborative Community Mural
  • Chalk Art
  • Solar Prints

From easy and cheap to fairly complicated and expensive, the projects changed out on a two-week rotation in order to keep the ArtCart fresh and interesting for repeat customers. We made 74 stops over the summer months and had 3,672 visitors!

We surveyed our customers and found that:

97% of participants at the ArtCart felt more creative while participating in the art activity and 98% of participants reported a positive or very positive experience with the library.

Solar Prints

If you are curious, BookBike results for 2017 include these astounding figures: 97% of BookBike visitors indicated that the BookBike increased access to library materials and 65% of visitors learned something new about the library. We measure these outcomes using our handy logic model.

We are already looking forward to adding new creative and fun projects next summer!

To read more about RPL’s innovative bicycle outreach programs see: RPL BookBike: Shifting Gears, It’s How We Roll and RPL BookBike: A Wheelie Good Season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *