Children check out the Books on Bikes. Courtesy of the Seattle Public Library.
Whereas many libraries have used diesel or natural gas vehicles, no bookmobiles were greener than the zero-emission libraries on wheels pedaled by the 11 “bikebrarians” of the Seattle Public Library. In the summer of 2013, SPL had a bicycle trailer custom-built that could haul up to 400 books and a billboard. This being Seattle, the books were kept in a waterproof container, and the trailer had a special slot for a beach umbrella. The Books on Bikes pilot program stopped at farmer’s markets, parks, schools, and community events. The trailer radiated its own wi-fi, allowing patrons to check out books and sign up for library cards via the bikebrarian’s iPad. Teams of two or three cycling librarians hauled all of the equipment to each stop. “Bob”, as the project was abbreviated, cost less than $5000.
“Like Riding a Bike.” LJ, Sept. 15, 2013, pg. 25.
Email exchange with Dave Valencia Regional Manager
Ballard, Fremont, Magnolia, Queen Anne Branches The Seattle Public Library, dated 11/15/2013.