The Mountain View Public Library’s Bike Stop

Mountain View Public Library Bike Stop Photo by Paul Sims
Mountain View Public Library Bike Stop Photo by Paul Sims

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of guest posts by Emily Weak, an Adult Services Librarian at the Mountain View Public Library. New installments will be posted every Monday.

One of our City’s Council’s goals for the current two fiscal years is to make it easier for our community to access the city as bicyclists or pedestrians. The Library is supporting this goal through an initiative called Library Bike Stop, which is funded by a grant from the Pacific Library Partnership.

The focal piece of the initiative is a piece of equipment called a Dero Fixit Station. This is a freestanding structure installed near our bike racks in front of the library. It has a rack that you can hang a bike from, tools such as tire levers and wrenches, and a very sturdy bike pump. Dero also provides QR codes, affixed to the station, that link to instructional videos on bike repair.

Mountain View Public Library Bike Stop Photo by Paul Sims

We installed the Fixit station in early April (2014), intending to do a soft launch and a more formal “unveiling” on Bike to Work Day (May 8th). However, it almost immediately began creating a buzz. Our local paper ran a story about it (and this is a rare case on the internet when I encourage you to read the comments – they are very positive). In addition to being used regularly by bicyclists of all ages, it creates a point of conversation for the community; cyclists gather at the station, lending each other advice and assistance. And it serves as a symbol of our city’s commitment to support cycling.

The Library Bike Stop grant, which was written by Paul Sims, also includes funding for ten programs as well as additional tools and books. Over the next few weeks, I will describe here how we have implemented these elements. For example, we’ve hosted a workshop on shopping by bike, taught Urban Bike Skills, started a monthly bike clinic, invited museum curators to talk about the history of the bike, thrown a BikeFest, and are in the midst of planning a multi-library bike tour. Upcoming posts will focus on each of these topics.