Perry Public Library’s Book-A-Bike program rolls out Thursday

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"Safety first," says Perry Public Library Director Mary Murphy as she catalogs the bicycle helmets that form part of the gear in the new Book-A-Bike program.
“Safety first,” says Perry Public Library Director Mary Murphy as she catalogs the bicycle helmets that form part of the gear in the new Book-A-Bike program.

A healthy mind in a healthy body is the goal of the Perry Public Library’s new Book-A-Bike program.

Anyone with a current library card in good standing can now check out a bicycle for an hour or a day through Book-A-Bike, according to Perry Public Library Director Mary Murphy. So if you want to go for a spin on your lunch hour or tour Herndon or Cooper on the Raccoon River Valley Trail, Book-A-Bike makes riding convenient and cost-free.

“The bicycles are for adults,” Murphy said, “and you must be 18 years of age or older to borrow.” She said all borrowers will complete a Lending Agreement and Liability Waiver form, which limits the library’s liability for what might happen outside the library and also equips riders with basic bicycle safety information.

All bikes and equipment must be returned at least 30 minutes before closing. Gear includes a helmet — mandatory wear for all borrowers  —  bike lock and other necessities.

“The Dallas County Conservation Board has generously donated trail passes for library bikes,” Murphy said, “so anyone borrowing the bikes will not have to worry about purchasing a trail pass to try out the biking trail.”

Murphy said she borrowed some features of Book-A-Bike from a similar program in Athens, Ohio. The Ohio programs has grown very quickly, she said, and Perry probably has a similar need.

The program is starting with four bicycles, including several bikes donated by Perry City Council member Dean Berkland and refurbished by Lee Coons at the Raccoon Valley Bicycle Co.

Murphy said she is seeking Bock Family Foundation funding in order to enlarge and improve the Perry fleet. She hopes to see the program expand to include all 12 libraries in the Dallas County Library Association.

There are no fees for using Book-A-Bike. For more information, call the library at 515-465-3569.

Video courtesy the Perry Public Library

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