The great thing about libraries is that they house all of types of books — from mysteries to biographies to dystopian dramas — all in one location. The bad thing about libraries is that they house all types of books in one location, and if it's a location you can't get to, you're out of luck. Or at least you were.
Now, mobile library solutions are popping up around the country to bring books to people who need them.
A few years ago, when the Little Free Libraries movement launched, more people of all ages could have access to books. Now, more than 15,000 free book stands can be found around the world, bringing books to unexpected places.
But many folks simply can't get to the places where the books are. Bookmobile buses are a good solution, but they can be costly to fund and to operate.
Enter the bookmobile on a bike.
The Seattle Public Library's Books on Bikes program is comprised of three bike/trailer combos that librarians bring to community events. The trailers are even Wi-Fi enabled so that visitors can sign up for a library card and browse the library's card catalog on the spot.
"Seattle has a really strong bike culture so we wanted to tap into that and provide full service library programs but do it in a way that is nimble," librarian Jared Mills said in an interview with GOOD.
San Francisco's program, called Bibliobicicleta, was launched in 2013 by librarian Alicia Tapia after a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign. Her trailer can hold about 100 books and attracts readers of all ages and income levels. It's an independent, donation-based library — like a Little Free Library, but on wheels.
Tapia's motto for Bibliobicicleta is to "promote a love of learning and literacy: page by page, book by book, pedal by pedal.”
When asked why she would launch a free library on a bike, Tapia answers, "Why not? Bikes are cool, and can go anywhere."