Ottawa Public Library’s award-winning BiblioBike set to return this summer

By Spencer Van Dyk

The Ottawa Public Library’s BiblioBike will be rolling through town again this summer — this year as an award winner.

The portable library was recognized for its innovation by the Ontario Library Association, and given the Ontario Library and Information Technology Association Project Award.

The BiblioBike is a mobile library; it’s a mini display atop a bicycle trailer, which is ridden around Ottawa. It’s equipped to allow a librarian to perform everything from library card registration to book check-outs.

“The Ontario Library Association grants the OLITA award to recognize innovative projects like this that demonstrate leadership in the application of technology to benefit library users, enhance library operations, and extend partnerships,” the OPL stated in a recent press release.

The bike was designed and developed last summer by Alison Smedley, a public service assistant at OPL, and was put to use at various festivals and fairs throughout the city.

The OLA annually gives out a number of awards in such categories as librarian of the year, lifetime achievement, intellectual freedom, media and communications, and distinguished service.