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Bicycle Bookmobile approved

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Bicycle Bookmobile approved

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Old 10-27-14, 06:27 PM
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Bicycle Bookmobile approved

I know this isn't exactly commuting, but if I'm gonna pull the darned thing around with my bike, I'm gonna count it as commuting miles.

My library branch does a lot of community outreach. We set up at the local farmer's market, and every street fair and block party we hear of. A couple of months ago one of the bosses suggested that we apply for a community outreach grant that she had found, and suggested a bicycle bookmobile to extend our outreach programs. As the official cyclist, I chipped in my two cents.

It's unofficially official. We got verbal notification today that we got the grant.

The platform will be a Bikes At Work model 64A trailer. On to this, Library Facilities will custom build bookshelves on each side with plexiglass covers that close for travel (and rain), leaving storage in the middle for our standard library delivery totes, and maybe our EZ-Up tent. There will be signage and mounts for blinkie lights on the back, and signage viewable from the sides. Graphics will gin up something for that.

An iPad with a bluetooth keyboard and a USB barcode scanner will run TLC's CARL-Connect (we're the software development partner and beta site) through a portable wi-fi hotspot so we can issue library cards, check out, and return materials. Patrons will get their receipts by email.

We'll each be using our own bikes to pull the thing around. (Good thing my commuters are triples!) I plan to buy my own trailer hitch as well, just to make things more convenient for me.

Chances are funding won't happen until the first, then we'll have four or five months for Facilities to fabricate the shelves and sign mounts. My guess is that we'll hit the road starting in May.

When not in use on the road, the trailer will be parked on the main floor of our branch and used for display shelving. The bosses don't know this yet, but I plan to move all the cycling books there.
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Old 10-27-14, 06:43 PM
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Man.... first the magazine spread, and now this. You are a rock star!

Seriously. It sounds like you are doing some great things in your community. This is really good to see, and I think putting the library and bicycle aspects together might be pretty inspiring for some kids (and adults). Way to go.
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Old 10-27-14, 07:04 PM
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Too cool, Bruce!
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Old 10-27-14, 07:22 PM
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What a fantastic form of outreach. It seems like that set up will be very heavy, I hope your route is pretty flat!
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Old 10-27-14, 09:50 PM
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This is awesome.
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Old 10-27-14, 10:16 PM
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Very cool! What will it be called? I'm still upset that the Pikes Peak Library District dropped the fun name "Bookmobile" renaming it the non-catchy "Mobile Library Services". I suggest "The Bookmobike". In any event, I know who'll be hauling it in the snow! Good Job!
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Old 10-27-14, 10:46 PM
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This is too cool.

I haven't seen you mention a trailer before. Do you have any experience with them?

I didn't until a month, or so, ago. I don't have any final answers, but have some initial thoughts. PM...if I can help!!
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Old 10-28-14, 01:41 AM
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Very cool.

These full of books?





Show us a photo when you get a chance!

- Andy
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Old 10-28-14, 01:47 AM
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cool!

i'd love to see a photo as well.
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Old 10-28-14, 06:16 AM
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Very cool.

Make sure that all the bikes have low gears. Check out with the people in the utility bikes forum, for their advice. Ypu'll probably need something to hold the trailer steady when you are using it as a library.
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Old 10-28-14, 07:16 AM
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I think you should post this in A&S too. It needs something other than bike accidents and helmet threads.
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Old 10-28-14, 07:34 AM
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Congratulations on this initiative. It's a great idea.

Please keep us posted on the progress and development.
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Old 10-28-14, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
I think you should post this in A&S too. It needs something other than bike accidents and helmet threads.
Oh.

I thought A&S stood for Arguments & Sniping.


I'll bet you thought I'd link to the Argument Clinic didnít you.
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Old 10-28-14, 08:24 AM
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Books and pedals are a great combination! My wife rides a Torker Tristar when we go out to enjoy local trails on the weekend. When she recently became a high school librarian at a large, sprawling suburban campus, she and her co-librarian joked with their principal that they should get a trike for the library; unexpectedly, the principal thought it was a good idea. Thus was born Book+Mo+Trike, a secondhand Sun Traditional 20, which they use to deliver and retrieve books and equipment across campus. It even fits in the elevator in the new 2-story building.
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Old 10-28-14, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
Very cool.

These full of books?





Show us a photo when you get a chance!

- Andy
That's the size of trailer that we're getting.

No, we won't be using those Rubbermaid totes. Too big. They hold too much, would be hard to lift and that many would exceed the capacity of the trailer, and my capacity to move it.

The library system has standard interlocking totes it uses to move books between libraries. Just guessing here, I'd say they're 13x13x30 long. The idea is to build narrow shelving on each side so that the fronts of the books face out, not the spines. Two library totes would then nestle on the floor of the trailer, end to end, between the shelves. I'm hoping our EZ-Up will slide in on top of them.

Face-out shelves maximizes our visibility-to-weight ratio. Books are heavy. A standard tote can weigh up to 50 pounds. At least, that's what my job description requires me to be able to lift and move around.

The idea here is more PR than actual circulation. Our goal is to increase visibility in the neighborhood. (We have no real signage at our building, which itself is of early Soviet Eyesore architecture. And no, the Bruce listed as Site Supervisor is my boss, not me. Yes, we have two Bruces, because one is never enough. We have substitute librarian named Bruce, and a literacy volunteer named Bruce. On days when we're all there, we have to work in different parts of the building lest a critical mass occur.)

When we set up currently at the farmer's market and various block parties and street fairs throughout the season, we can't take many things with us, and our displays are a little drab. We get ignored a lot.

The novelty of the trailer is supposed to counteract that, giving us something new and interesting to look at, more stuff to circ, and the ability to actually circ it.

Although as the project goes on, I'd like to be able to take the trailer to the several senior living centers in our area. For those, circ would be the priority. The one problem is that that sort of thing works best on a fixed schedule, and the weather doesn't.

Last edited by tsl; 10-28-14 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 10-28-14, 08:32 AM
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Just throw a couple Nooks in a pannier and call it a day. Books are so last century.
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Old 10-28-14, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
Very cool.

Make sure that all the bikes have low gears. Check out with the people in the utility bikes forum, for their advice. Ypu'll probably need something to hold the trailer steady when you are using it as a library.
And wheel chocks.
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Old 10-28-14, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Just throw a couple Nooks in a pannier and call it a day. Books are so last century.
Ah, you missed the part about the mobile wi-fi hotspot.

Nooks are so last decade.
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Old 10-28-14, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jwarner View Post
Man.... first the magazine spread, and now this. You are a rock star!

Seriously. It sounds like you are doing some great things in your community. This is really good to see, and I think putting the library and bicycle aspects together might be pretty inspiring for some kids (and adults). Way to go.
No kidding, what's the rest of the year going to bring for you?
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Old 10-28-14, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
That's the size of trailer that we're getting.

No, we won't be using those Rubbermaid totes. Too big. They hold too much, would be hard to lift and that many would exceed the capacity of the trailer, and my capacity to move it.

The library system has standard interlocking totes it uses to move books between libraries. Just guessing here, I'd say they're 13x13x30 long. The idea is to build narrow shelving on each side so that the fronts of the books face out, not the spines. Two library totes would then nestle on the floor of the trailer, end to end, between the shelves. I'm hoping our EZ-Up will slide in on top of them.

Face-out shelves maximizes our visibility-to-weight ratio. Books are heavy. A standard tote can weigh up to 50 pounds. At least, that's what my job description requires me to be able to lift and move around.

The idea here is more PR than actual circulation. Our goal is to increase visibility in the neighborhood. (We have no real signage at our building, which itself is of early Soviet Eyesore architecture. And no, the Bruce listed as Site Supervisor is my boss, not me. Yes, we have two Bruces, because one is never enough. We have substitute librarian named Bruce, and a literacy volunteer named Bruce. On days when we're all there, we have to work in different parts of the building lest a critical mass occur.)

When we set up currently at the farmer's market and various block parties and street fairs throughout the season, we can't take many things with us, and our displays are a little drab. We get ignored a lot.

The novelty of the trailer is supposed to counteract that, giving us something new and interesting to look at, more stuff to circ, and the ability to actually circ it.

Although as the project goes on, I'd like to be able to take the trailer to the several senior living centers in our area. For those, circ would be the priority. The one problem is that that sort of thing works best on a fixed schedule, and the weather doesn't.
Ah, nice. Definitely get some photos up when you can!

- Andy
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Old 10-28-14, 05:50 PM
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Awesome ! Makes me (almost) want to be a librarian - though I'm sure you make it more glamorous than it really is . Can't wait to see pics of the new bookmobile, and hear people's reactions.
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Old 10-28-14, 07:50 PM
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That's pretty awesome. I can't wait to see some pics of the trailer in action!
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Old 10-28-14, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ret3 View Post
Books and pedals are a great combination! My wife rides a Torker Tristar when we go out to enjoy local trails on the weekend. When she recently became a high school librarian at a large, sprawling suburban campus, she and her co-librarian joked with their principal that they should get a trike for the library; unexpectedly, the principal thought it was a good idea. Thus was born Book+Mo+Trike, a secondhand Sun Traditional 20, which they use to deliver and retrieve books and equipment across campus. It even fits in the elevator in the new 2-story building.
I once worked in an auto parts warehouse where we picked orders using something similar. Great for that sort of use.

That's the sort of thing they originally had in mind, only using one of the more chic and trendy peddler's utility trikes with the load platform in front. (One librarian on the committee has family in Portlandia, and had seen them around out there on visits.) The one they showed me was 42" and change wide. Imagine the deflated looks on their faces when I said, "You know, that won't fit through the door."

See, I was one of the last people they consulted when putting together the grant. The intent was simply to run it under my nose on the way the door, jsut to see if I would be interested in pedalling it around once in a while.

This snafu left us with only a week to completely rewrite the equipment spec in the grant. Fortunately, hanging around here for seven years helped out a lot. So now we have something that will fit through the doors of the building, and although it was tough getting them to give up the cute umbrella came with the utility trike, we can carry our 10x10 EZ-Up.
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Old 10-28-14, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
No kidding, what's the rest of the year going to bring for you?
As long as it brings me two new pages I'll be a happy man. Pages shelve the books and clean the CDs and DVDs. We've been short one since May and two since September.
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Old 10-28-14, 10:09 PM
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Awesome Bruce, this is a really positive and neat thing you are doing. And I bet it will be fun to boot! Good luck and best wishes.

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