"We went with paperbacks because they're lighter," said TADL adult services coordinator Brice Bush, who bought $400 worth of books for the mobile library including Louise Erdrich’s “Round House,” Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” by Jordan Belfort. “I looked at what’s been really popular with patrons and what there are holds for.”
The library's 80 or so holdings also will include a selection of young adult and children’s books purchased and pulled from TADL’s shelves and about a dozen free, smaller-format paperback books.
Bookmarks double as receipts and let borrowers know they should return the books to TADL's main or district libraries.
The Commuting Library made its street debut June 4 in celebration of the 20th anniversary of TART Trails' Smart Commute Week. Schmidt pedaled the bike along the Norte! TC Rides loop, ending at The Little Fleet.
"We were there for about an hour and a half and it was great," said Bush, who pedaled alongside the cargo bike on her Schwinn beach cruiser. "People were curious, they were excited to see us out and about, that we had a Wi-Fi hotspot, that they could get a library card, check out a book. We had a lot of people ask where we were going to be next."
The library’s next outing is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at F&M Park, in conjunction with the TC Scoop Festival. Library staff will bring an enhanced children’s collection and books on making and serving ice cream. Workers will promote and register readers for TADL’s summer reading club, which starts June 18.
Talaga said the Commuting Library is a pilot program that could be continued and that could be replicated in other districts.
“It’s always different for each of the communities we serve throughout the district so it's really nice when we have communities collaborate with us because we're constantly having an increase in demand and a decrease in funds," she said.
Otwell is pleased to have the bike back in use.
“They are so positive and excited about having a new way to get books into people’s hands,” she said. “They can do a lot just from that little station.”