The next way to check out a book from the Greenwood Public Library may be from an electric tricycle.
Library officials hope they can reach more residents by bringing books to people in local parks or on walking trails rather than them coming into the library to check out books, said Emily Ellis, the library’s assistant director.
“We have been, over the last few years, discussing within our strategic plan how to best reach patrons where they’re at, especially patrons who don’t have library cards,” Ellis said. “This year in particular, we wanted to focus on being out and about where patrons were. Our outreach efforts changed from specifically doing events to getting into apartment complexes, neighborhoods and making our presence known.”
The book bike will have two wheels in the front and one in the back. In between the two front wheels will be a large box that will hold library materials such as books, magazines and DVDs. The library’s book bike will also include an electric assist, allowing employees using the tricycle to go longer distances and uphill, according to Haley Tricycles.
The library covered the cost of the book bike, $5,630, with help from the Greenwood Public Library Foundation. Former director of development Jane Weisenbach and current director of development Ashley Ferrell researched different types of book bikes and how to fund them, Ellis said.
“With a book bike, it’s easy to travel. You don’t have to load a full day of stuff,” Ellis said. “There’s the ‘wow’ factor. ‘Hey, who’s that, what are they doing?’ The community sees us getting out, and we are there for them for whatever they need.”
Library officials ordered the tricycle this summer, but while they were hopeful it would arrive this fall, production delays may mean it doesn’t make its way to Greenwood until next year, she said.
Once the bike arrives, library leaders have plans about how to reach community members, Ellis said.
“We really want to make sure we’re in Greenwood parks. There’s such an amazing parks system with trails connecting them,” she said. “We have access to quite a few, Old City Park or Craig Park. We also do quick visits to farmers markets during the summer and maybe some kids’ sporting events, places with different demographics and audiences. We’re always visiting and getting to stop and talk to people.”