Rochester Public Library’s BookBike is being recognized as one of Minnesota’s most innovative projects. Each year, the Humphrey School of Public Affairs recognizes cities, counties and schools for redesigning how they do business through new initiatives and projects. The RPL BookBike was the overall winner in the City Category, earning the library a $5,000 grant.

The BookBike, a little library on wheels, was pulled by library staff on bicycles to locations within a one-mile radius of the downtown library April through September. The BookBike offered library books for check-out, library cards, program information, assistance with digital materials, bike trail maps and fun incentives to visitors. “The BookBike program saw great success this summer,” says Head of Youth Services and BookBike Project Director, Heather Acerro. “We reached over 5,500 community members and visited over 100 sites.”

Rochester Public Library’s BookBike is the first bicycle-powered library in Minnesota. The BookBike project was funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, through a Community Collaboration grant from Southeast Libraries Cooperating (SELCO) in late 2014.

“We are honored to receive this prestigious award from the University of Minnesota,” adds Library Director, Audrey Betcher, “Rochester Public Library not only provides traditional library services, but we also pride ourselves on innovating to meet customer’s needs.”