Introducing . . . the BOOK BIKE!
The Middlebury Public Library (MPL) debuted their brand-new Book Bike on June 11th at the Artisan Market at the Mill in Middlebury and had an amazing turnout.
The idea for the Book Bike originated as other libraries around the US began creating book bikes in recent years. We were intrigued by the idea and wanted to make it happen for the Middlebury Public Library.
Since Middlebury is so well known for its culture of biking, with the Pumpkinvine Trail and our Amish community, we felt this would be a fantastic opportunity, and the perfect vehicle to reach those who do not typically patronize the library. It is all about serving the underserved where they are. Hopefully, they will come into the library, but we can bring the library to them this way and get them excited about being a part of the library.
The MPL Adult Services Librarian, Sarah Rich, said, “I am really excited to use the book bike to get the library out into the community. We know that not everyone comes to the library, so we want to reach people where they are. Plus, the bike is super fun to ride!”
We have so many people to thank for making our Book Bike dreams a reality! After applying for, and receiving, a $6,000 grant from the Bontrager Family Foundation to create the Book Bike, the library had local help to get the bike up and running. Designed and sourced by Pumpkinvine Cyclery, they also added an electric assist to the bike giving us the ability to travel further from the library. Country Corner Woodworks, an Amish woodworking business, donated the labor to build the custom cabinet for us, and Pumpkinvine Cyclery bolted the cabinet to the bike to hold our books and supplies. The Book Bike even has a hotspot, so patrons can utilize our Wi-Fi while they sign up for summer reading, browse books, and learn more about the goings on at the library this summer!
What does the future hold for the Book Bike? This summer the Book Bike will go to the Middlebury Summer Festival parade, we will also be attending Riverfest, and farmers’ markets this year. Ice cream and story time will be happening at Dips on the Vine on July 19th and travel to our local schools, including Amish elementary schools in our area, to share the joy of reading and upcoming Programs and Events. Keep an eye on the library events on our website and social media to see where the Book Bike will be next. We are extremely excited to bring the Book Bike to Middlebury and we cannot wait to take the library on the road.