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Education Matters

Books on the Bus

July 1st, 2016

By Jill Griffith

You’ve probably heard of bookmobiles, book vans, even book bikes, but have you heard of book buses?

Hop on one of four designated Books on the Bus transit buses in Red Deer with your child and pick out a children’s book from the bin at the front to read on the trip. Then pick out an adult book for yourself! Settle yourselves in your seat ready to travel to your destination, open the book, and take a journey to where you never expected when you paid your fare – Narnia, Hogwarts, or to where the Wild Things are! The time will pass, you will reach your stop, and both of your lives will be enriched. Then take the books with you. Then share them with others. That is Books on the Bus.

Initially a City of Red Deer Small Acts Matter concept, Books on the Bus (BOTB) is part of a public education / awareness campaign designed to remind each of us about the importance of small acts and how they can support children, youth families, seniors and communities. The project provides reading materials (children’s books, graphic novels, teen and adult books) on City of Red Deer transit buses, to provide more access to books for all Red Deerians. The project currently runs on the four buses that display Books on the Bus advertising, but will expand to eight buses in the near future. In addition, two red book carts loaded with books for all ages are available at two shelters in the downtown Sorenson Station, the major transit transfer and pick-up point in the city.

All of the books have a sticker on the front telling you to “Take it. Read it. Share it.” BOTB encourages transit riders to “Take a book from the free mini library and enjoy reading during your commute, at your lunch break or anywhere you have time to read.” The initiative’s aim is to get as many books as possible in to the hands of those who will use, share and enjoy them. Inside the front cover of all of the books are stickers that provide readers with some pretty cool messages like one of our favourites: Red Deer Public Library cards for children / teens are free!

How can you participate? Ride a BOTB bus and grab a book! As well, if you have donations of new or gently used paperback children’s, teen and adult books, you can drop them off to any recreation centre location in Red Deer including the Recreation, Collicutt and G.H. Dawe Community Centres. You can also tweet, Facebook or Instagram your BOTB experience using #booksonthebus. For more information on this unique community program, check out: www.reddeer.ca/city-services/transit/books-on-the-bus. What a great way to share and spread the love of reading with children and families in our community!

Jill Griffith is the Youth Services Manager at the Downtown Branch of Red Deer Public Library

 

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