Library Book Bike / Vélo-Biblio to hit the road in June

Library Book Bike / Vélo-Biblio to hit the road in June

The Timmins Public Library is excited to announce it is the recipient of a $17,900 grant from the Government of Canada’s Canada Healthy Communities Initiative for its Library Book Bike project.

A Library Book Bike is essentially a tricycle that has been modified to carry and display books and other library materials. The cargo bike which will bear the name “Library Book Bike / Vélo-Biblio” will be seen around the city at activities such as the Downtown Urban Park, festivals and events. “We are excited to be the first public library in Northern Ontario to introduce a Library Book Bike” said Carole-Ann Demers, CEO of the Library. With the bike, staff members will be able to adapt current in-house library services into publicly accessible outdoor environments. Patrons will be able to engage with library staff outdoors, maintaining physical distancing and meeting all public health measures.

The Library Book Bike will house popular materials for all ages to borrow as well as tablets and Wi-Fi hotspots. Staff members operating the book bike will be able to offer on-the-spot membership registration, programming, checkout of library material, digital instruction and more.

Access to both physical library locations and previous levels of library service have been reduced by the COVID-19 pandemic and patrons have been significantly impacted. The goal of this project is to engage the community and to get books and other material into the hands of children and underserved populations. “Engaging our patrons is one of the key priorities of our strategic plan and we continue to work towards fulfilling this goal.” stated CEO Carole-Ann Demers.

The book bike will allow the library to provide equitable access to resources and services, concentrated in the downtown core and surrounding areas. Special visits can be requested by organizations and community partners. For example, the bike will visit locations such as the YMCA, Living Space, seniors’ complexes or other outdoor events.

The library is working with Hawlii Pichette of Urban Iskwew for the art design of the bike. Hawlii is a Mushkego Cree (Treaty 9) urban mixed-blood artist and illustrator who currently resides in London ON. Born and raised in the small community of Cochrane, her work is deeply influenced by her culture, upbringing, and reflects the beautiful integral interconnections of the natural world.

The Library Book Bike/Vélo-Biblio project is supported by the Government of Canada’s Healthy Communities Initiative

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