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Ready to become a Street Librarian?

Russell Garrigan, Librarian, Teen'Scape,

It all started with a grocery bag full of used books.  In 2012, Linda Moulton was working in a church meal center when she learned that a regular patron of the church meal center was an avid reader and that the two of them shared this same interest.  Linda Moulton is also an avid cyclist and living in a bike-friendly city like Portland, Oregon, uses bike transportation on a daily basis.  Could books and biking go together? She wondered.

The big question was: how to do it?  Linda Moulton researched the idea and discovered Haley Trikes.  What does a Haley Trike look like?   Click this link to see one in action right here in Los Angeles --

With a bike customized by Haley Trike, Moulton founded the non-profit that delivers books to Portland’s homeless; she calls the homeless, “people outside.”  Who needs a bookmobile when you have a Haley Trike?  Loaded up with books donated by Portland residents, and with the help of volunteers called, “Street Librarians,” Linda Moulton and crew started the effort without really knowing how it would go or the reactions they would get from people. 

To their surprise, it began phenomenally well and continues year after year.  Each year between June and October, the street librarians distribute between 1,200 and 2,000 books.  It’s a no-strings-attached policy.  No fines, either.  The philosophy is that it’s better to have the books out in the community than sitting on a shelf somewhere. 

With the advent of WiFi, new services with bike-book distribution have taken hold.  Imagine being able to register for a library card or even check out books from a Street Librarian.  These are just a couple of conveniences created when technology and librarian pedal-power merge. 

The Los Angeles Public Library has its own Book Bike.  The LAPL Book Bike is grant funded by @LibraryFoundLA. Free Books are donated by the Friends of the San Pedro Library. Next time you see the Los Angeles Public Library’s Book Bike pedaling by, give a wave, and ask the LAPL librarian how LAPL is using this “green” friendly technology to serve you.