Anybody's Library Bike Book

            By       Bill Wright Burton

Release of a “how to” manual for running a Library Bikes Program


Arcata Library Bikes has prepared a manual that expands the understanding of
how to run a “Library Bikes” bicycle loaning center and program. After a decade of making bicycles available for community use and over 3000 loaned bikes our experience has proven the utility of bicycle lending facilities.

The effect of getting people on bikes and out of cars is included. A whole range of topics designed to guide a new program away from potential problems such as insurance; location selection, bicycle compost, public image and press releases are presented. Dealing with recycled and reuse-donated bicycles is covered. Recognition of bike loaning systems as part of the bicycle infrastructure

in California is discussed.

Traversing interpersonal interactions and social drama at a Library Bike Center is as daunting a task as the physical repair of 3000 bikes. The Manual covers stories of:
         -theft – rip off
         -high school mechanics and mentors
         -coupling and marriages at the bike shop
         -safe zone for kids in a downtown environment
   -night rides, social rides, parties and music events
Success and joyful endeavors on one side balanced with ways to deal with difficult personalities are all included.

The manual layout and publishing details are included and self-explanatory.
Online access will be available at

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Table of Contents


Library Bike Prologue                


Chapter One:                     

What is a Bike Library?


Chapter Two:

Starting a Bike Library


Chapter Three:

The Shop


Chapter Four:

Parts Storage


Chapter Five:

Fixing the Bikes


Chapter Six:

Checking out Library Bikes


Chapter Seven:

Tracking the Program’s Progress


Chapter Eight:

Measuring Air Quality Benefits


Chapter Nine:

Publicity and Media


Chapter Ten:



Chapter Eleven:

Kids at the Bike Shop


Chapter Twelve:

Recruiting Volunteers


Chapter Thirteen

Bicycle Lifestyle





January 30, 2007

By William Wallace Burton

the author's 82-year-old father,

who has ridden and enjoyed bicycles most of his life.

(WW II Veteran, retired oil industry executive, peace and religious activist)



This is a very important book. Why bicycles?


Global Warming is a fact supported by many scientists, documented quite well by

U.S. Vice President Al Gore's recent book and movie " An Inconvenient Truth”.

This issue is becoming one of the most important issues for mankind to face.


The use of oil for car transportation has been increasing rapidly worldwide. For example, the world's greatest population is in China. Twenty-five years ago in China, the major personal means of transportation was by bicycle. Now most Chinese want to own and use a car for use in the city. This trend is true in many other developing nations, as well. This is the reverse of what is needed to deal with Global Warming.


The United States is the greatest user of oil, per capita, and thus the largest contributor to the CO2 problem.


Bicycles used for local transportation in large and small cities (worldwide)

CAN BE part of the needed lifestyle change that will be required to help reduce

the creation of CO2 in the atmosphere.


But bicycles can do much, much more, for individuals and society.


In the United States, the lack of required daily exercise for many adults and

children alike have led to a major overweight problem. Increased bicycle riding

would help. Besides it is fun, sociable and more friendly than locked up in a

car. It is less stressful, reducing road rage. Parking is never a problem.

Neither is gridlock or heavy traffic.


Increased bicycle use reduces society's need to spend large public capital

amounts for additional parking garages & additional wider highways. Bicycle

paths, for bicycles only, require much less structural base and paving than for

trucks. All roads have to be built to hold heavy truck traffic, even if used

mainly for cars, as trucks will use them too.

Bicycle use can be a large capital cost-saving to counties and states.


"Library Bikes" offer a recycling advantage at a low cost to the individual.

They make it more possible to use public transportation (bus and light rail) on

both ends of the line. Many buses and trains now offer special accommodations

for bicycles.


Bicycle use needs to be supported by public bodies. We all need to try to

reduce the excessive use of non-renewable oil, wherever possible, for even more

reasons than the few given above.


Please read this book. Enjoy the inspiration of successful bicycle lifestyle detailed here. Support reuse and recycling of bicycles.


See their website, www.

P.O. Box 4343 Arcata California, 95518                                                  phone            (707) 822-1122


Library Bikes - Popular loans of 3000 recycled bikes in 3 years, in car oriented America!



Library Bike Introduction

 The following book is a product of almost a decade of work in Arcata, California, creating a bike lending system in a free-to-use bike program called Library Bikes.


This book is prepared so that any group or organization will be able to create a similar program without having to experience all the mistakes that have taken a decade to learn.


It is my hope that this book will be a new layer of information similar to books from the past about how to repair bicycles like Anybody’s Bike Book. That simple booklet has been the reference for the past 30 years, showing how to fix bikes. Hopefully, this new work will be a manual that people can refer back to and use over and over again on how to create bike libraries.

Chapter One: What is a Bike Library?

A bike library is a place where people can borrow bikes like borrowing a library book. They can borrow the bike for a significant amount of time and can get an operable bike with air in the tires that is ready to go immediately. The bike can be borrowed for up to six months.


A bike library is a place where a community can reuse older bikes that they don’t need or haven’t used in a long time. Disposal usually results in bikes going to the landfill or solid waste operator. If a community has a bike library it provides an alternative for people to put their bike in a place of reuse rather than disposal. It gives an old bike, maybe a bike with a long history, a new life or a second life in the community. 

Bike Libraries Foster Community

A bike library is also a place where the community can come together around transportation with bicycles. People can come to the bike library and learn how to repair their own bike or learn how to repair bikes for the community.  It becomes a gathering social place, where people who are interested in bike transportation can share information.


Bike libraries are places where kids can come after school to work on bikes and where kids can be with adults and learn from them. It’s a place where younger generations can interact with older generations and where students can be more a part of the community. For students, a bike library provides the opportunity to do an activity, other than academic ones, which is so much needed in the inactive lifestyle of schoolbook work.


A bike library is a place of bicycle infrastructure; similar to the way a train station is infrastructure for a train. Neither provides the actual movement or transport, but both help with the interaction with transportation. A bike library is a place where people can interact with their bikes. Given any weather condition, any social conditions, any conditions of repair or disrepair, the bike library is a station where people can interact with their bikes and their bike transportation.


The bike library can become a community center of sorts, a place of interaction of people in regards to bicycle lifestyle, and any issues around that lifestyle. The bike library can become a center of art expression around transportation and bicycles. Library Bikes in Arcata has pictures of bike riding all over the world, kinetic art that attaches to pedal power vehicles, bike metal welded into other artistic uses like chairs and a ladder. It can become a very creative space where people can work on projects such as metal sculpture, kinetic sculptures or music expression with the CD player at the shop or even singing or playing piano.


This manual is about how to create and maintain all these aspects of a bike library.


The rest of the chapters of the book are online at