Madison Public Library Debuts ‘Spoke-n-words’

Friday, September 11, 2015 - 1:36pm

‘Library bike’ debuted at Top of State Partner Showcase, September 10

Madison Public Library debuted its latest effort to bring library services into the community with the unveiling of Spoke-n-words, a bicycle-powered micro library.  The library debuted at the Top of State Partner Showcase event on Thursday, September 10, from 3-6 pm.  The Showcase was part of the regularly scheduled MadCity Bazaar held outdoors at 100 W. Mifflin St., 12-6 pm, and highlighted the many organizations that provided Top of State summer programming.
Public libraries from Seattle, Wash. to Rochester, Minn. are using ‘book bikes’ as a way to expand their reach in neighborhoods without nearby libraries.  Visitors to Spoke-n-words will have the ability to sign up for a library card, check out books, attend storytimes, and work on participatory art projects.
“The Spoke-n-words initiative gives Madison Public Library an intimate way to connect with communities around the city. Our library wants to meet residents of all ages in their own neighborhoods and provide them with rich, surprising library experiences,” said Michael Spelman, program organizer and Central Library Manager.  “We are eager to hear about community needs and aspirations so we can better serve the public, especially from people who are currently underserved.”
The Spoke-n-words trailer was designed by John Edwards and fabricated by Badger Diversified Metals, with a custom graphic wrap designed by Art & Sons.  The bike that will power the vehicle was custom built by Revolution Cycles.  The bicycle, trailer and associated programming were funded through grants from BMO Harris Bank, Madison Rotary Foundation, and Dane County Bicycle Association, secured by Madison Public Library Foundation.
The bike will also be at the Central Library on the afternoon of Saturday, September 26, during Bike to the Library Saturday, a statewide promotion in cooperation with the Climate Change Policy and Public Health massive open online course beginning November 9.  On this day, people are encouraged to bike to one or more Madison libraries, and can enter to win bike-related prizes.