Even with the recent onslaught of snow on Redeemer’s campus, the thought of being able to sign out a bike for use in and around campus is exciting. Biking is a practical and economical means of transportation, especially for students living on campus. However, since not all students want or can afford to have their own bike on campus, this practicality is lost. A bike library could be the answer to this dilemma.
I had the opportunity to talk to Kennan Benjamins, the President of Student Senate, about the proposed bike library, ask how the project came about and where it currently stands. Most students are aware of the idea, but I found that the first year students whom I approached hadn’t heard about it at all. For those unaware of the bike library proposal, this article is for you!
The first thing Kennan talked about was the general concept of a bike library. It would operate in a manner similar to that of a typical book library in that one could sign out a bike with their student card and the bike would be due back at a specified time. This ease of use would contribute to the number of bikes signed out.
One central argument in favour of a bike library is a student’s access to Meadowlands. Most errands a student might need to run can be done in Meadowlands, but aside from a car, the only way to get there is by bus or on foot. The trip is about a half hour walk, or anywhere between a half hour to an hour on the bus. To get to Meadowlands on a bike would take around 10 minutes. This is much more practical and supports the library idea.
Kennan shared some of the data he gathered from a survey run last year. Students were asked a few basic questions concerning how they would use a bike library if one was present on campus. What they found was that many expressed interest in using bikes for recreation along with convenience.
However, even with student input, it is difficult to determine how often students would really take advantage of a bike library. Senate is making efforts to get a pilot library in place. For a year, a bike library would operate on campus and its use would then be tracked. This data could then be evaluated and the results could hopefully justify its existence.
I approached numerous students about the idea of Redeemer having a bike library. Most were quick to exclaim their interest and stated that they would definitely take advantage of the library for recreational purposes and the occasional errand.
I encourage students to discuss the feasibility of a bike library with their peers, especially if they have not heard of the idea. If you believe the existence of a bike library on campus would be beneficial to the student body, be sure to express your opinion!