/ Modified sep 9, 2015 4:28 p.m.

Library Book Bikes: Riding to Reading Giveaways

Pima County Library program has distributed almost 35,000 books via bicycle

Book Bike Spot 2 Mary Sanchez, manager at the Eckstrom-Columbus Library pedals a book bike. One of the two new book bikes acquired this summer will be located at the Eckstrom-Columbus Library.
Courtesy Pima County Public Library

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What has three wheels, can carry 200 pounds of cargo and has given out thousands of free books?

A book bike.

Book Bike Portrait Library employees Monica Bujak, Karen Greene and Brandon Milligan take the full fleet of book bikes out for a spin. (PHOTO: Courtesy Pima County Public Library)
“The grand purpose of the book bike is to go to places where people are and give them books to read,” said Karen Greene, the Pima County Library’s librarian on the move. Greene started the book bike program in 2012 with one bike.

“My dream is really world domination by book bike, but I will start in Tucson,” Greene said.

This summer, a donation allowed the library to add two more bikes to the fleet. Since the program started, it has delivered delivered almost 35,000 free books to Tucsonans.

Greene said people always ask, “how many can I take?” She responds, “As many as you can read.”

Each of the bikes can hold 200 pounds of books, and the library needs help from the community to fill them. Children’s books, cook books and books in Spanish are in high demand.

There are several places and ways to donate:

  • The library will host a book drive kick-off party Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Eckstrom-Columbus Library. The event features a bike safety class, crafts and light refreshments.

  • Books for the book bike program can be dropped off at any Pima County Library branch. Here is a list of locations.

  • Make an online donation online by putting “bookbike” in the message section of the donation form.

  • You can also volunteer with the book bike crew. There will be an orientation Sept. 19 at 8:30 a.m. at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library. More information and an application are available online.

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