The Okotoks Public Library has a brand-new electric book bike.
It’s all thanks to the Optimist Club of Okotoks and Tim Horton’s Smile Cookie Week.
Optimist Club Charter President Amy Giroux says she first became aware of the need for a book bike during a chance visit.
“My friend Angela and I came in to see the new library. We asked Sarah, who we’d met, “What are you missing that you’d really like?’ And Sarah was like ‘A book bike,’ and we said, ‘What is a book bike?’ And she told us.”
Book bikes are a relatively recent phenomena that have been growing in popularity in recent years.
The library’s director, Sarah Gillie, explains that it will allow them to get out into the community.
“It’s an electric bike that allows the library to take programs, services, and collections out into the community. It can be used to run a program like a storytime, we can bring books with us to let people check out books, we can bring craft supplies and do craft programs out in the community, so it’s just a great way for us to get out there, meet people, and share information about the library.”
As far as the Smile Cookie campaign, Giroux says the Optimist Club seemed like an obvious fit.
“Angela, the lady that came with me to tour the library, she wrote a letter to Tim Horton’s after learning about their Smile Cookie campaign, and kind of mentioned how our Optimist Club and Smile Cookies fit together and we wanted to bring more smiles and positivity to Okotoks.”
The bike itself has had some custom work done for the library’s needs.
It was sourced through the local bike shop Ridley’s Cycle with custom work from REV Engineering.
Optimist Club board member Mark Crocker says it’s graded for more rigorous work than it’ll likely be used for as a book bike.
“It’s an e-bike, so that’s good from a carbon footprint perspective for the library… it makes a statement around taking the environment seriously. We had a local firm in Calgary do the custom work, we kept the weight pretty low, so it’s safe and usable. I think what the library’s got with the way it’s been designed and built, is they’ve got lots of flexibility in terms of what they can carry and how much they can carry in a safe and economical way.”
The book bike has been named “Bichael.”