Tony Odierna Donates Book Bike
(Reminder Publications - December 1, 2016)
This upcoming spring or summer you might look outside your window to find an unfamiliar sight- a book bike. The Richard Salter Storrs Library plans to have librarians riding at events and around town to promote literacy and healthy living.
According to Storrs Library, the book bike is currently on display in the front lobby of the library at 693 Longmeadow Street.
"The book bike will expand the library's reach beyond the limit of our physical walls and integrate library services and programs into the community," Adult Programming Librarian Wendy Pearson stated. "The book bike will visit farmers' markets, schools, adult centers and community events. This library on wheels will assist people with digital downloads, offer reading suggestions, and provide popular new titles available for checkout. We will issue library cards and offer assistance with research, thematic books for checkout, demonstrations of the library's digital resources, help with reference questions, outdoor story times, and much more."
The trailer was constructed by Jon Ramos and Brian Pace of Street Smart Trailers, according to the library. It is designed to carry the weight of display books and other materials on built-in shelves and also includes a vibrant green umbrella to protect books from the sun or rain. The graphics were designed and installed by Go Graphics of East Longmeadow and a new library logo was designed by local artist Beryl Salinger Schmitt.
Jean Maziarz, head librarian of youth services, told Reminder Publications the new book bike has been in the works for about two years.
She added several librarians attended a conference in Cambridge and saw book bikes in action while in Boston.
"We really thought it would work well in Longmeadow because of our sidewalks; there's lots of events and activities that go on in Longmeadow (and) it would be just a great outreach method," Maziarz said.
Library patron Tony Odierna, Jr. donated a total of $5000 for the bike and the project would not have been possible without his generosity, Maziarz said. The donation was made in honor of Odierna's parents, Ann and Tony Odierna, who believed in the power of education.
"He's just a wonderful patron who comes in here all the time and has asked us in the past what he could do to help and so we sort of wrote this up as a proposal and described it to him," she noted.
Barbara Fitzgerald, director of adult services at Storrs Library, said Odierna has sponsored other programs in the past and believes in the library's importance in the community.
Book Bike visits can be requested by Longmeadow schools, teams, organizations, and businesses by contacting the library 565-4181 or by completing the online form found on the library website at www.longmeadowlibrary.org.