Emily Williston Library holds fundraiser for new book delivery service 

  • Fern Koen, left, 10, of Easthampton dons a newly decorated helmet during a “Book Bike Breakfast.” At right, her mother, Shelby Hyvonen, and her brother, Otto, 8, work on more decorations. STAFF PHOTO / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Paige Dolinski, president of Emily’s Friends of the Library, talks about a cross-country bike ride being undertaken by Emily Williston Memorial Library staffer Kelley Crisp to raise funds for its forthcoming Book Bike delivery service. Dolinski was attending a “Book Bike Breakfast” on the lawn of the library in Easthampton on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Jenna Barron , who is on the Emily Williston Memorial Library Board of Corporators, talks about fund-raising for the forthcoming Book Bike delivery service while attending the "Book Bike Breakfast" event held on the lawn of the library in Easthampton on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. Library staffer and cyclist Kelley Crisp set off from San Diego Saturday morning on a fund-raising cross-country bike ride for the service. —STAFF PHOTO / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Shelby Hyvonen of Easthampton helps decorate the bike of her son, Otto, during a "Book Bike Breakfast" on the lawn of the Emily Williston Memorial Library in Easthampton on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. The library is promoting its forthcoming Book Bike delivery service to be run by staffer and cyclist Kelley Crisp who set off from San Diego Saturday morning on a fund-raising cross-country bike ride. —STAFF PHOTO / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Easthampton Patrol Officer Tim Rogers stands near Easthampton Sgt. Dennis Scribner's bike after it was decorated by kids attending the "Book Bike Breakfast" on the lawn of the Emily Williston Memorial Library on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. The library is promoting its forthcoming Book Bike delivery service to be run by staffer and cyclist Kelley Crisp who set off from San Diego Saturday morning on a fund-raising cross-country bike ride for the new service. —STAFF PHOTO / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Fern Koen, 10, of Easthampton helps her mother make decorations for an Easthampton bike patrol officer’s helmet during a “Book Bike Breakfast” on the lawn of the Emily Williston Memorial Library in Easthampton on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Emily Williston Memorial Library staffer Kelley Crisp set off from San Diego on Saturday on a cross-country bicycle ride to raise funds for the library’s forthcoming Book Bike delivery service. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 9/15/2018 2:59:07 PM

EASTHAMPTON — Otto Koen, 8, and his sister Fern, 10, rode their bicycles to the Emily Williston Memorial Library, and when they left, their bicycles were not quite the same as when they arrived.

On Saturday morning, the two siblings decorated their red bicycles with green shamrock beads, added blue and pink streamers to their handlebars, and they even got to brighten Easthampton police Sgt. Dennis Scribner’s bicycle with red and gold streamers on the front lawn of the library.

Otto and Fern are “big fans” of the library and it is not uncommon for them to check out 20 books or so, such as Garfield comics and “Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library” by Chris Grabenstein, said their mother Shelby Hyvonen.

The library hosted patrons, families, and law enforcement officials as part of a fundraising effort for a new service that library staff are excited to announce: a book bicycle delivery service.

“It think it’s great both for their audience and for promoting biking,” Hyvonen said. Otto and Fern’s cousin works at the library, Hyvonen said, and their aunt serves on the library’s board of trustees.

A new, black and gray KHS Alite 350 nine-speed, pedal assist bicycle that will deliver the library’s books in the near future was on display at the fundraiser.

Easthampton resident and owner of Manhan Bicycles in the Paragon Arts and Industry Building on Pleasant Street, Robert Cobb, custom made the bike for the library. He said the bike “essentially has one horsepower,” and that the bike can reach up to 20 mph “pretty quick” with very little effort by the peddler.

The “award winning, aircraft quality aluminum” bike has nine speeds with a top speed of 25 mph, according to Cobb. That will make it easier for the book bike delivery driver to haul the yet to be built trailer that will be attached to the back of the bike, he said.

“As a mountain bike, I’ve built 20 or 30 of these,” Cobb said. “It’s very common in the bigger cities, I’ve seen it out in Salt Lake City, Denver, Boston, Chicago. You can zoom around town at 12 to 15 mph for three or four hours, it’s the best thing ever. You just jump on the bike, press a button, and boom! You are downtown.”

Coinciding with the event was the start of a two month voyage for library staff member Kelley Crisp, who traveled to California the day before for a cross country bicycle trip. Her journey is to raise funds for the new book bike service.

She will travel over 2,000-miles, from San Diego, California, to Gulf Shores, Alabama, as part of her trip. Crips could not be reached for this story.

Paige Dolinski, president of Emily’s Friends of the Library, said that Crisp is carrying a hammock with her and will be camping out on the lawns of public libraries along her route.

“Over the past several years she’s done trips like this before so she has experience with it,” Dolinski said. “We’re hoping to send care packages to her, little things like food, water, and little treats to keep her going.”

Crisp’s GoFundMe page has surpassed its goal of raising $3,000 and is currently at $3,641 for donations.

Her fundraising website page states: “That’s right, sixty-year-old library clerk (me) is riding from San Diego, California, to Gulf Shores, Alabama, to raise money for this service. When I return, riding the electric bike to make deliveries should be a breeze.”

The library has received a donation of $6,000 from the Easthampton Foundation of the Florence Savings Bank to help build a custom bicycle trailer that can safely transport the books, as well as the technology needed to check books out on the road, and a shed for the bike and trailer.

Luis Fieldman can be reached at lfieldman@gazettenet.com.




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