Book Bike Schedule:
What we need:
There are lots of way to help with the Book Bike:
- We need riders. The Bike weighs over 200 pounds without books in it. It is a single gear bike that does just fine on flat surfaces and modest hills, but there are some challenges to getting it around. It you think you are interested in being a rider, let me know. I will want to work with you and the bike a bit to be sure you understand its mechanics, quirks, and challenges.
- We always need books – all ages, and also in Spanish. Used books should be gently used. If you want to host book drives or raise money to buy books, that is great!
- We need people to sort books, so it’s easy to grab a bin and go.
- We need people to help us staff the bike, or arrange special events. This winter, the Bike is in its “winter home” in the Commerce Bank in downtown Bloomington. We have events around the Bike – just recently we celebrated Tour d’Chocolate with Dora the Explorer from BPL.
The West Bloomington Revitalization Program welcomes the Book Bike to west Bloomington and the rest of the Bloomington-Normal community. Adapted from an idea developed by Chicagoan Gabe Levinson, the WBRP Book Bike visits our Bloomington farmer’s market each week and travels around our west side and other spots in our community to bring free books to children and adults.
The Book Bike is a 3-wheeled Worksman bike. On its front platform is a book carrier that folds out into book shelving. The WBRP stocks the bike with books donated by the Bloomington Public Library from its bi-annual book sale, as well as with donations of new and gently used books from residents throughout our community.
The Book Bike represents an integral part of the WBRP initiative to educate our youth and connect our community through reading and literacy efforts. It reflects our commitment to sustainability and to individual connections that strengthen our sense of neighborhood and refresh our ties to one another. Our expectation is that the Book Bike will be out in our community every weekend, venue and weather permitting, and that we will continue to bring books and people together in happy and surprising ways.
The Book Bike is made possible by donations from Chris Koos and Vitesse Cycle; Mark Fagerland of Unique Design, who donated the design, material and labor for the custom-made book carrier; and several community donors, including Mike and Cindy Kerber, George and Myra Gordon, Karen Schmidt, and Earl and Carol Reitan. The Illinois Prairie Community Foundation Donor Advised Fund was instrumental in helping us meet our goal.
With a full load of books, the bike is estimated to weigh some 200 pounds. The WBRP is grateful to strong friends & neighbors, IWU students, McLean County Wheelers, the ISU Bike Club and other strong and hearty bike riders who are willing to help us get the Book Bike around.
The WBRP is happy to arrange visits by the Book Bike and looks forward to having celebrity readers throughout our community share the love of reading and the community connections that books bring to us. To invite the Book Bike to your event, to volunteer as a reader, or to donate books, please call the WBRP office at 309-829-1200, or contact Karen Schmidt, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to CityWatch, here’s some footage of the Book Bike at the Farmer’s Market in June, 2011.
For more on the Book Bike concept, please visit www.bookbike.org and see the YouTube video that inspired our work:
You can find the Book Bike at the Downtown Bloomington Farmer’s Market every Saturday (weather permitting) from 9am until 11am. Come visit and pick up a free book or two!