SPEAKER 8/9/2016

(TUCSON, Ariz.) – The national publication Library Journal recognizes some of the most dynamic people who work in and for libraries each year. Pima County Public Library congratulates librarian Karen Greene for being named one of this year’s Movers & Shakers for her visionary work to tie alternate modes of travel with literacy. Greene was honored in the category of Community Builder.

Greene founded three programs that connect people in our community with the love of reading. The biggest impact has come from the creation of the Library’s Bookbike program in January 2012, the first public library program of its kind in the nation. Now, four years later, our first Bookbike has attended 335 events, logged 1,135 volunteer hours, pedaled 972 miles, and given away 36,146 free books. In August 2015, our program grew to a fleet of three bikes, and Greene is on well her way to her goal of “world domination by Bookbike.”

Greene also developed the Books on Wheels program to deliver books to homebound and disabled residents in our community who are not able to visit the library in person. Local volunteers select the books and Pima County Bike Ambassadors deliver the books by bicycle. The ambassadors also spend time talking about books and life with our customers who may not have a lot of interaction with people beyond family members and caretakers. The program is a boon to people who can no longer come to the library: a combination of reader’s advisory, wellness check, companionship, and exercise.

Greene’s third innovative mobile literacy program complements the other two: free reading glasses for all who need them. Greene created a partnership with the Downtown Tucson Lions Club, which supplies the Bookbike Program and most libraries with free reading glasses. Each month our libraries distribute over 250 pairs of reading glasses.