Each year, the Humphrey School of Public Affairs recognizes cities, counties and schools for redesigning how they do business through new initiatives and projects. The BookBike was the overall winner in the City Category, earning the library a $5,000 grant.
The BookBike, a little library on wheels, was pulled by library staff on bicycles to locations within a one-mile radius of the downtown library April through September. The BookBike offered library books for check-out, library cards, program information, assistance with digital materials, bike trail maps and fun incentives to visitors. “The BookBike program saw great success this summer,” says Head of Youth Services and BookBike Project Director, Heather Acerro. “We reached over 5,500 community members and visited over 100 sites.”
According to Jay Kiedrowski, senior fellow at the Humphrey School’s Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center, “These awards are helping to raise the bar for delivering excellent government services, and that’s very exciting.” The awards are organized in partnership with the Bush Foundation and co-sponsored by the League of Minnesota Cities, the Association of Minnesota Counties, MN Association of Townships, and the Minnesota School Board Association. “Every year, we see more and more creative ways that governments are figuring out how to save money but still deliver the same high quality of services,” says Kiedrowski.
Rochester Public Library’s BookBike is the first bicycle-powered library in Minnesota. The BookBike project was funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, through a Community Collaboration grant from Southeastern Libraries Cooperating (SELCO) in late 2014.