Everyone should have access to books. Unfortunately, not everyone does. That’s the Tempe Public Library’s motivation for a new “Book Bike” program designed to bring reading opportunities directly into the community.
Explains Kathy Husser, the project’s spokes-person:
“The library is a place for everyone. We want to ensure all members of our community have access to books and to library and city services. The mobile nature of the book bike will help us build strong community ties outside the walls of the library.”
The project uses a modified bicycle that holds dozens of donated books for checkout. It will cruise the streets of Tempe, attending events and visiting city parks and community centers. It will target underserved populations that may not have a way to get to the library or are unsure about what services are available.
Though the Book Bike will serve everyone, a special emphasis will be placed on Tempe veterans, the homeless population and seniors, azccording to Husser.
The mobile nature of the bike, and the special training of a group of Book Bike ambassadors, will encourage personal relationships with members of the community who can benefit from library and city programs.
The service is made possible through a grant supported by the Arizona State Library and funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
An observance unveiling the program took place at the library on Oct. 14, with Mayor Mark Mitchell, library staff, various city councilmembers and Book Bike ambassadors on hand for the official christening.