Come to think of it, this makes a lot of practical sense. Upon first learning of this idea (yesterday), it had me scratching my head wondering why I didn’t think of it. Why bother building a bike sharing network from scratch? Who else is more proficient at lending items to students or the general public than libraries? So, why not have bike sharing stations located and operated at libraries?
Apparently, others think it is a good idea too. In fact, I was surprised at the number of places that offer these combined services. It would certainly reduce start-up costs, reduce bicycle theft and vandalism, and help put a bike sharing system clearly in the public eye. At some locations it’s as simple as using your library card.
For clarification – these libraries should not be confused with cities/nonprofits that refer to their bike sharing network as a “bike library.” Same concept as lending books, but the bike lending is not done via the library like the examples in this blogpost. Arcata, CA; Fort Collins, CO, and Iowa City are example cities with “bike libraries” that do not have a literature element to them.
Here’s a list of the colleges and communities I found that have bike sharing options available from the local library. If you know of other examples, please send them along! Kudos in particular must go out to Athens County, Ohio for being the trendsetter in community library bike sharing. Well done down there in Bobcat Country!
- Cornell University – Ithaca, NY
- Denver University – Denver, CO
- Harvard University – Boston, MA
- Tufts University – Boston, MA
- University or Montevallo – Carmichael , CA
- University of St. Thomas – St. Paul, MN
- Wartburg College – Denver, CO
- Athens County, Ohio (love the creative and memorable brand name – “Book-a-Bike”