I went to a session on outreach at the Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries (WAPL) Conference on May 4, 2018. One of the panelists spoke about their bookbike. This was from Eau Claire Public Library.
They take 75-100 books out at a time. They bring out some of their newest books on the bookbike so it’s like a lucky day collection for those checking out from the bookbike. They also try customizing their bookbike collection for the event they are attending. E.g. bring strawberry recipe/canning books to the farmers market on the bookbike during strawberry season.
Advice: think about where you are going to stash your bookbike collection in your library. Keep giveaways light and small.
Ran the bookbike purchase past risk management and they had two rules:
- Always go with two people
- Be back to the library before dark
Training is provided for staff including bike safety, hooking up the bike trailer, and circulation and setting up new library cards.
Bookbike has a handle so staff can roll it into indoor events.
The goal of the bookbike is about making connections, not about circulation. Going out with the bookbike is very casual and there is a lot of conversation.
If patrons don’t have a card the library staff will look them up in the ILS.
A few events the bookbike goes to include:
- National Night Out
- Farmers market 2x weekly
- Block parties
- Earth Day events
- Concert series 1x weekly
If it rains, the bookbike doesn’t go out.
They recently got a trailer for the bookbike do they can take the bookbike out further distances and also go out to indoor events even if it’s raining.