April 17, 2014

Library Services at Summer Events: Seattle Public Library Launches “Books on Bikes”

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From Book Patrol:

The pilot program will bring library services to popular community events via bike this summer. The book bikes will also cater their load to the event they are attending. Think LGBT material for the Gay Pride Parade or kids books for a pop-up storytime at a neighborhood park or books on music and folk culture for the FolkLife Festival.

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From the SPL Announcement:

The idea for Books on Bikes was the inspiration of Montlake Branch Librarian Jared Mills. Mills, with the help of fellow Librarian Linda Johns, submitted the idea to a staff committee for grant funding. “I thought it would be great to combine two things Seattle loves: our libraries and bikes,” Mills said. The proposal was enthusiastically received by the committee.

“The Seattle Public Library is always looking for new ways to meet our patrons where they are,” said Turner. “This project brings mobile Library services to neighborhoods and events we might not otherwise reach in a fun and innovative way.”

Mills, a Central District resident, said Books on Bikes is a “full-service library model. I’m not aware of any other library that does this. We will be able to provide people with help on digital downloads, as well as offer reading suggestions, have popular new titles available for check-out, provide Library card sign-ups, assist with research and much more,” he said. The trailer to accommodate all the librarians’ needs was developed and constructed by Colin Stevens, who runs Haulin’ Colin in Seattle.

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A total of 11 Library staff members make up the Books on Bikes team. “Team members were selected based on their interest in doing this type of outreach,” he said. “Each one has a different experience level as a cyclist. What we all have in common, however, is our love of engaging with residents from all Seattle communities and expanding the Library’s reach beyond the limit of our physical walls – a message we put on the back of our T-shirts: ‘YOUR LIBRARY WITHOUT LIMITS.’”

In addition to Mills, other members of the Books on Bikes team include:

  • West Seattle resident Misha Stone, who works at the Central Library
  • Ravenna resident Abby Bass, who works at the Central Library
  • Lake City resident Cleo Brooks, who works at the Central Library
  • Ballard resident Jonathan Koroshec, who works at the Ballard Branch
  • Queen Anne resident Christiane Woten, who works at the Queen Anne Branch
  • Ballard resident Kristin Edstrom, who works at the University Branch
  • West Seattle resident Ro Cooper, who works at the Delridge Branch
  • Ballard resident Jessica Lucas, who works at the Northeast Branch
  • Broadview resident Eric Grob, who works at the Northgate Branch
  • Queen Anne resident Dave Valencia, regional manager for the Ballard, Fremont, Queen Anne and Magnolia branches.
Video: Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn Joins Books on Bikes Team For Inaugural Ride and Shares a Few Remarks

Hat Tip: Book Patrol/Michael Lieberman

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.