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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Meet Seattle's New Library on a Bike

Posted by on Tue, May 21, 2013 at 2:11 PM

The Seattle Public Library launched a new pilot program today called Books on Bikes, which sounds exactly like what it is: A small, portable library hitched to the back of a bike.

The trailer is equipped with two shelves and an umbrella stand to protect books from the elements.
  • SPL
  • The trailer is equipped with two shelves and an umbrella stand to protect books from the elements.

“I thought it would be great to combine two things Seattle loves: our libraries and bikes,” explained Jared Mills, the Montlake Branch Librarian who brainstormed the idea (full disclosure: Mills is my hilarious and talented friend. If that sounds like I'm bragging it's because I am bragging).

Throughout the summer, librarians will pedal around to parks, block parties, KEXP concerts at the Mural, and other neighborhood events throughout the city. Each place they go, they'll tailor their shelves to suit the needs of the community: think kids' books for pop-up story time in parks, or gay erotica for the Pride Parade, as well as an array of new and best sellers. Librarians will also be on hand to make book suggestions and sign people up for library cards—basically, they'll provide all the services of a brick-and-mortar library, short of accepting book returns.

If you want to track the Books on Bikes trailer this summer, follow the Seattle Public Library on Twitter, @SPLBuzz.


Comments (12) RSS

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Fred Casely 12
I understand Charles thinks it looks hideous.
Posted by Fred Casely on May 22, 2013 at 4:49 AM · Report this
Knat 11
So this means we're completely out of good ideas, then?
Posted by Knat on May 22, 2013 at 1:34 AM · Report this
How precious, masturbatory and wasteful. My spouse and I are big supporters of commuter bicycling (we are car-free by choice), books and SPL, but this is straight out of Portlandia. How many books does that custom-made cart hold? 25? How much did that cart cost? Are these librarians getting paid their usual $35+/hour to ride all over town with 25 books at a time? If the cart and the librarians' time is donated, then fine, but otherwise, just wow.
Posted by Dudley on May 21, 2013 at 7:34 PM · Report this
What a whimsical and very Seattley idea! I don't understand how this fits in the budget when for the past three years there have been week-long furloughs. Please explain.
Posted by Totalpukoid on May 21, 2013 at 5:39 PM · Report this
Fnarf 8
I wish they'd spend the money on improving their collection instead.
Posted by Fnarf on May 21, 2013 at 5:12 PM · Report this
RebR 7
I saw this group in front of the Central Library when I was driving up Fourth this afternoon. I thought it was a bunch of renegade bicyclists protesting against or for something. I thought maybe they were anarchists and I was right! Librarians are some of the world's best anarchists.

Ride on!!!
Posted by RebR on May 21, 2013 at 4:42 PM · Report this
Makes me glad I ignore the constant pleas from the Seattle library for donations. If they have enough money for this kind of shit, then they have too much money already.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on May 21, 2013 at 4:41 PM · Report this
emor 5
That's a pretty nice bike, but that Berthoud handlebar bag probably causes some nasty wheel-flop with Rivendell's standard high-trail geometry.

Wait, what? Oh yeah, the bike library thing is pretty cool.
Posted by emor on May 21, 2013 at 4:25 PM · Report this
Cienna Madrid 4
@2, Jared says, "We have mobile wifi hotspots so we can do ebooks, audiobooks and even free music and movies through our Freegal, Hoopla and KEXP partnership. It's pretty much exactly like a physical branch library, but we are in spandex and you can't pay fines."


@3, yep.
Posted by Cienna Madrid on May 21, 2013 at 3:35 PM · Report this
Jubilation T. Cornball 3
Jared Mills is a local treasure.
Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball on May 21, 2013 at 2:56 PM · Report this
It should have a mobile wifi spot for ebooks. The library lends them right?
Posted by DCM on May 21, 2013 at 2:55 PM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 1
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on May 21, 2013 at 2:50 PM · Report this

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