Yarra libraries book bike libmark grant presentation october 2012
The Book Bike The true story of the big bright green reading machine brought to you by Yarra Libraries in association with The LibMark Marketing Award
The ideaOur community: diverse, creative, quirky,geographically small and oh so green LibMark grant competition! Outreach! Something different! Sustainability! National Year of Reading! Fun! Lasting value! Bike riders! Staff involvement! The Library Bike Project
ResearchHaving secured some in-house funding to add tothe LibMark grant, weinvestigated various optionsand tried out some modelsbefore settling on a customised Christiania cargo bike.
Our new babyWe took delivery ofour brand new bike atthe National Year ofReading Launch atthe State Library inFebruary 2012.
L platesWe organised training sessions for staff who werewilling to give it a go. Riding a cargo tricycle is different to riding a normal bike… …it’s stately, grand & We graduated from the very conspicuous. park to the streets and had a lot of fun riding in convoy.
The nameWe couldn’t keep referring to “thelibrary bike” (unfortunate connotations!)so we asked our patrons to come up witha new name. There were some cleverentries: Tribrary But the most popular choice was simply The Book Bike
Bike as signpostOne of the bike’s first appearances was as asignpost, directing the more than 100 peoplewho attended the Elliot Perlman talk into theFitzroy Town Hall.And here’s the bike on the footpath outside thetiny shop front North Fitzroy Library →
Space and flexibility The basic cargo on board the Book Bike includes: • a marine ply display stand • NYOR sign • umbrellas • stools • picnic rugs • promotional materialThere is plenty of room to The bike fits well with a sustainablecustomize the cargo according to philosophy. We showcase library resourcesthe event. such as Powermates, Lux meters, green books & magazines & our sustainability booklist.For example, we take sample boardbooks & Baby Book Bags to new We have developed a Sustainable Storytime Kitparent talks at Maternal and Child promoting reading & green living.Health Centers.
Library promotionThe Book Bike enables us to promote our services and events to non-usersby reaching them where they work, shop, study or play. We have serviceand event flyers, booklists, balloons, bookmarks and crayons to give away. At a local shopping strip
PublicityThe bike featured on the frontcover of the “Yarra News”, amonthly magazine produced bythe City of Yarra & delivered toall houses in the municipality.It has also appeared in the localpaper - the Melbourne Leader -and in inCite.
A presence at major eventsThe bike provides a focal point at festivals and non-library events –a change from the usual tent or table.There is growing recognition of the Book Bike as a fun and colourfuladdition to a community event, especially if we are giving awaymerchandise or weeded books or reading stories.We are now fielding many requests to attend local events. Some events we have attended • Emerge Festival in Collingwood • Harmony Day in Carlton • Sustainable Family Fun Day in Richmond • Moon Lantern Festival at the Richmond Housing Estate • Holden Street Neighbourhood House Equinox Picnic in North Fitzroy • Collingwood Children’s Farm school holiday activities
Outreach to familiesThe Book Bike is hugely popular with children. We have developed a Sustainable Storytime Kit for the bike, promoting reading and care for the environment We visit parks, schools, after-care, kinders and Maternal & Child Health Centres
Children’s activitiesThis year we gathered a crowdaround the bike in the parkopposite Carlton Library forSimultaneous Storytime withguest author Meredith Costain. The bike also fits beautifully with the relaxed setting for storytime at the Collingwood Children’s Farm
Strengthening tiesThe Book Bike project builds onexisting links between the librariesand other sections of Council, with theprogram receiving support fromYarra’s Green Team and Bicycle UsersGroup.The bike has been used as a focalpoint for community consultations onbike infrastructure and featured at aYarra Staff World Environment DayExtravaganza.There is increasing interest from otherCouncil Departments to book the bikefor events
Benefits of the bike•generates positive comments and a funatmosphere wherever it goes. Children in particular•high visibility makes finding us easier love the bike and ask•sustainable message reinforced to the lots of great questionscommunity. such as:•portable, adaptable outreach vehicle ” how did it get here?”•increased profile during the National Year “ can I have a go?”of Reading. “ is this a new library?’• has attended more than 35 venues and our favourite• so far we’ve reached over 2000 people. “ can you come back another day?”Overwhelmingly people see the bike as apositive addition to the library.
ChallengesAlong the way there have been some challenges in implementing theproject:•Securing extra funding for the bike and other costs such as staff trainingand overtime•Logistics – storage, transporting between library branches, fittingthrough doorways•Empowering staff to feel confident to take it to the streets•Staff time•Juggling on-going requests from community and other Council staff,particularly for weekend festivals and events•Creating and implementing a Cargo Bike PolicyThe Book Bike’s very success is also its main challenge: it could appear atevents on a daily basis if demand was to be met.
On from here…Upcoming events and activitiesinclude:• Yarra Ride to Work Day Breakfast•Children’s Week celebrations at theCollingwood Children’s Farm•Spring Hat Storytime in the park•Relax and read sessions out in thecommunity•An intensive school and kinder visitprogram•Bulk loan deliveries•Summer Reading Club joint eventswith Yarra Leisure (reading sessionsat pools and parks)
ThanksWe would like to acknowledge andthank:•City of Yarra•Libmark•PS Bikes (bike supplier)•Kate Simnett (cargo bike training)•The original National Year ofReading Book Bike Committee:Lindy, Melissa, Theary, Jill