Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Tuning Up Bike Month Programming

Photo courtesy Multnomah County Library

May is Bike Month, so it’s a great time to tune up your bike and your library’s bike-related programming. Between circulating bikes, riding book bikes to outreach events, and offering bike repair workshops or stations, opportunities abound for connecting communities with alternative transportation. Libraries also offer books, of course! These resources and activities can help build a strong cycling community in Bike Month and beyond.

Why celebrate Bike Month in your library? According to a 2022 report from People for Bikes, 34% of Americans ages 3+ rode a bicycle at least one day in the past year. The report also indicates that youth were more likely than adults to ride a bike–either for recreation or to get to school. In one Portland, Oregon neighborhood, a local elementary school teacher took bike commuting to the next level by creating a “bike bus” with 130-170 kids riding to school. (Incredible, right?)

Photo courtesy Multnomah County Library

Here are a few more ideas to upgrade your library’s Bike Month or bike-related programming:

Bike lane art: The Portland (OR) Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and Multnomah County Library invited students from Pre-K to 12th grade to design bike lane art for the “Bike to Books” digital design contest. First-place designs were installed on Portland streets by PBOT striping crews.

Panel discussions: Transportation Alternatives and Brooklyn Public Library teamed up to host a panel highlighting the needs of families biking in Brooklyn. The event was recorded and is available online.

Bike field trips: Decorah Public Library and Upper Exploreland’s Biking School saw a community need for more outdoor after-school activities and began providing guided bike rides for middle school students. The rides go to different destinations, including the local bike shop, and give students a chance to practice route reading skills–and have a ton of fun!

There are so many possibilities, big or small. If you aren’t sure where to start, your local bike shops or transportation advocacy groups are ideal partners. Let’s Move in Libraries offers ideas for bike and other movement-based programming.

Has your library done something cool with bikes or Bike Month? Share in the comments to crowdsource even more great ideas as we pedal into Summer Reading and onward.

Photo courtesy Multnomah County Library

This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group, II. Reference and User Services, III. Programming Skills, and V. Outreach and Advocacy.

This blog post was written on behalf of the School-Age Programs and Services Committee by Alec B. Chunn. Alec is a youth librarian at Multnomah County Library and a member of the School-Age Programs & Services Committee.

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