Street Books is a bicycle-powered mobile library, serving people who live outside in Portland, Oregon. Patrons are issued an official Street Books library card without being required to show proof of address or identification. Inside the cover of each book is an old-school library pocket and card that patrons sign and leave with us. During our thrice-weekly shifts, librarians bicycle to one of our arranged locations, display the library selection, and patrons stop by to check out and return books. They are invited to be photographed with their books of choice, and these photos and stories are collected at our website: streetbooks.org. Now entering its fourth year, Street Books has provided more than a thousand books to one of Portland’s most vulnerable populations: those who lack shelter. In the years since we founded the project, we have built our library collection and expanded to serve people on the eastside. This fall we were able to hire a longtime patron, Ben Hodgson, to be our Inventory Specialist. Ben got an apartment in February, after living outside for three years, and he is an invaluable asset to our team.
Funded by Portland, OR (June 2014)