Book Bike

● Books & Learning ●

Love your book · Love to read · Pass it on

The WBRP strives to support literacy and education for youth and adults throughout our community. Weather permitting, you will see the Book Bike out and about every weekend often during the week. The Book Bike is stocked with donations for new and gently used books from residents of the community. The Book Bike has a simple operating principle: we give away as many books as an individual wants, for free, no strings attached, no questions asked. The Book Bike looks to bring books and people together in happy and surprising ways. The Book Bike represents an integral part of the WBRP initiative to support literacy and education for youth and adults throughout our community.  It reflects our commitment to sustainability and to individual connections that strengthen our sense of neighborhood and refresh our ties to one another.  

About the Bike

The Book Bike is a 3-wheeled trike designed and built by Icicle Tricycles.  On its front platform is a book carrier that folds out into book shelving.  The WBRP stocks the bike with donations of new and gently used books from residents throughout our community.  

The Book Bike is at the Downtown Bloomington Outdoor Farmer's Market every Saturday. We are at neighborhood events through the summer, fall or spring months. You can also find the Book Bike during the annual Labor Day parade, the Laborer's Christmas party. 

The Book Bike is happy to arrange visits 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 cyclist, or to donate books, please call the WBRP office at 309-829-1200, or contact Karen Schmidt, karen61701@gmail.com.

new book bike - 2022 (03).JPG

Upcoming Book Bike Events

  • Every Saturday at. the Downtown Bloomington Farmers' Market, 9 - 11 AM

  • July 30, 12 - 6 PM, CulturalFest at Miller Park

  • August 5, 4 - 7 PM, Downtown First Friday at Crossroads Fair Trades

  • August 6, 12 - 3 PM, Miller Park Zoo – Ice Cream Social and School Supply Drive

  • September 5, 10 AM - 12 PM, Labor Day Parade - starting in downtown Bloomington, ending in Miller Park.

 

Get Involved

Donate Books

We can always use books. If you are cleaning your book shelves or attic, contact us! We have a special need for board books (chunky books for the pre-readers,) manga & graphic novels for teens, Step-Into-Reading children’s books, young adult chapter books, and Spanish language books for all ages. We welcome gently used or new books. Books can be donated during WBRP building hours

 

Host a Book Drive

If you are interested in hosting a book drive through your workplace or volunteer organization, we can supply an informational brochure and any other advertising material you might need. Bobzbay is always happy to acquire books for the Book Bike to distribute!
Contact Karen at karen61701@gmail.com.

Ride the Bike

We can always use riders - it is an energizing workout! Take the Book Bike out to a park or event for the afternoon. We will give you a short tutorial on riding the Bike and working with people of all ages who want books from the Bike. If you want only to ride it or to staff it, we will work with you.

Assist with Book Inventory

We have a storage unit on West Oakland, courtesy of Brad Butzirus. A few times a year, we inventory and sort these books, and can use extra hands. If you are a book lover, this is an important and satisfying job.

Why does the Book Bike matter?

Research repeatedly demonstrates that if children are not reading well by third grade, their chances for success later in life are diminished.  I have had quite a few teachers come up to me at the Farmer's Market to say Thank You for the Book Bike. They all relate the same basic story: in their classrooms, when they assign a book report, they will tell their students, "I don't care what book you choose. Choose a book that you enjoy. You can pick one from home." Too many times, these teachers tell me, the students will say "We don't have books in our home." For many of us, it’s hard to imagine a home without books. So every time a child or an adult goes home with a free book that they now own, we just tipped the scales a little bit in the right direction.

 

Early on in the history of the book bike, we attended a neighborhood block party where school supplies were being given away.  A  young Hispanic girl came up to the Bike with her mom and asked if I had any children’s books in Spanish. I did not. She looked so disappointed and told me she wanted a book that her mom could read to her. Wow! I'm a mom and I treasure the hours I spent reading to my sons. Again, tipping the scales in the right direction... Trust me, I have Spanish books now, though never enough.
 

Contact Us

We are happy to arrange a Book Bike Visit and look forward to having readers throughout our community share the love of reading and literature. To invite the Book Bike to your event, or to volunteer as a reader or cyclist, or to donate books, contact us.

Videos

The original inspiration behind the WBRP Book Bike

Bike BloNo volunteers for the WBRP Book Bike

The Book Bike was Made Possible By:

Chris Koos and Vitesse Cycle

Mark Fagerland of Unique Design

Mike and Cindy Kerber

George and Myra Gordon

Karen Schmidt

Earl and Carol Reitan

The Illinois Prairie Community Foundation Donor Advised Fund

Little Free Libraries

 

Map of Westside Little Free Libraries and Pantries.