Introducing the Book Bike, the newest and smallest addition to our troupe of traveling libraries. It comes loaded with books that you can check out and a Wi-Fi hotspot, so we can set you up with an adult library card on the spot. You’ll be seeing our staff with our portable library at community events throughout Boone and Callaway Counties.
WHY A BOOK BIKE?
One of our librarians, Seth Smith, is an avid cyclist who discovered these mini mobile libraries while researching what other libraries are doing across the country. “So many of these libraries are taking their book bikes to events and introducing new people to what their local library can do for them. It fits into spaces our bookmobiles cannot, is easy to set up and tear down and we are able to attend more events with books and other library information in tow. We are also trying to reach patrons in historically underserved areas with this program,” says Seth.
The first library book bike in the country was introduced in 2008 in Chicago, but DBRL’s is the first one in Missouri.
Once we decided to move forward with the Book Bike project, we visited with bike vendors and enthusiasts in our community and started exploring funding sources to get the show in the road. Through a collection of memorial gifts, the Daniel Boone Regional Library Foundation covered the out-of-pocket expenses. Walt’s Bike Shop provided the bike and trailer at cost and donated labor and consulting time. Alpine Builders constructed the Book Bike cabinet with no overhead or labor charges. PedNet provided consulting advice in the early stages of the project, and Columbia Parks and Recreation trained the nine Book Bike riders on safe city cycling. “Thanks to these generous contributions and support, we were able to bring this service to the community affordably,” said Margaret Conroy, DBRL executive director.
“The Book Bike is a new and fun way for us take our collections beyond the library walls to where people are and raise awareness of library services,” said Lauren Williams, DBRL adult and community services manager. “And if it’s too far for us to ride to an event, we’ll transport it over in one of the library’s delivery trucks. Look for us in parades, at local fairs, at food banks and other community events.”