What a great idea! Books on the Bus in Red Deer

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 9.46.58 PMI am grateful to Write, the newsletter of The Writers’ Union of Canada, for alerting me to a brilliant initiative now underway in Red Deer, Alberta (Canada) called Books on the Bus.

Buses in Red Deer now feature mini-libraries from which riders can borrow a book to read to themselves or their kids as they wend their way through town. They can also borrow the books for the weekend or the week, or even longer, and return them when they’ve finished reading them – or  they can “share the books with friends and family” and never return them at all. They can also donate books for the mini-libraries at various Red Deer locations.

Like the neighbourhood book boxes that are (happily) appearing everywhere, all of this happens at no cost to readers (aside from bus fare, in this case). “Books for all ages and reading abilities are available including children’s books, graphic novels and fiction and non-fiction for adults,” says the City of Red Deer’s website, which goes on to point out that “Providing access to literacy materials is a poverty reduction strategy identified by the Central Alberta Poverty Reduction Alliance (CAPRA).”

Genius! I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of this idea before, and I think it should be happening everywhere. Which is why I am telling you about it.


2 responses

  1. Hello Mary – as one of the organizers of this initiative I would like to Thank you for your kind words and promotion of our wonderful Books on the Bus program! This collaborative project involves the following partners; Red Deer & District Family Community Support Services (FCSS), City of Red Deer Transit, City of Red Deer Recreation, Parks and Culture, Red Deer Public Library; Friends of the Library, COSMOS and the Red Deer Early Years Coalition. We are thrilled with the Books on the Bus project! Originally launched as a 6 month pilot we have had great public engagement and support. Everyone loves this program and the public want to see it on all the busses. Due to the uptake by transit riders and the public, the Books on the Bus project will now be an ongoing project. The project has expanded to include more busses as well as portable book carts at our main transit station downtown to encourage all transit riders to access free books. We are also developing “Books About Town” which would include Little Free Libraries in Red Deer as well as the regional area. We always need more book donations and volunteers to help support this project!

    • This is fantastic! Look at all those partners! I am very impressed and I look forward to the day that Toronto (and lots of other cities) emulates the sterling example established by the City of Red Deer. Thank you for writing, Dianna!

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