Hoping to reach more people with its limited budget, the Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque has started a bicycle library.
Five days a week, a member of the staff pedals the mobile library to different parts of city so people can check out books and DVDs. Bill Carroll, the library’s adult services manager, says the goal is to bring the library to where people are.
“The bike can hold up to 100 pounds of materials,” Carroll says. “So, depending on the materials we fill the bike with that day, that could be anywhere from 50 to upwards of 100 books, if it’s children’s books.” The bike library began traveling around Dubuque last month, but advertising for the new service didn’t begin until July 1st.
“In less than one week, we’ve had over 200 items checked out,” Carroll says. “The bike library has had numerous interactions with members of the community who are very supportive and glad to see the library out and about, doing innovative things.” Carroll says an avid bike rider from the library staff is in charge of the bike library, but it has a small motor to help get up the steep hills in Dubuque. The mobile library will probably operate through October. It’ll take the winter off, then resume touring the city’s neighborhoods next spring.
(Herb Trix, WVIK, Rock Island/photo courtesy of the Carnegie-Stout Public Library )