Broadacres Homes is located on the corner of Rocksprings and Broad (near Gresham’s Disco).

Just after pulling into Broadacres Homes around eleven thirty, a former student with a great big smile walking with a friend calls-out, “Hey Mr. Brooks!” I ask where lunches are distributed during the summer.

“Down the hill at The Rec.”

A familiar face is a good sign on the summer’s first delivery.

Lunches are distributed inside the community center, also called “The Rec.”

A white Athens Housing Authority van pulls up to the community center, then two men unload large plastic bins and carry them inside. The containers are filled with lunches Athens residents can pick up between noon and one.

This Athens Housing Authority van delivers lunches to sites all over town.

A handful of folks peer out of their windows and doors as the Bibliobike gets set up. Two women walking toward the community center are the first to ask what this is all about. After browsing, both choose Dr. Seuss books for grand-kids. Next, a first grader leading her lunch-coated baby brother by the hand emerges from the building and heads toward the rig. They immediately snatch two books with Elmo on the cover. Another first grader points to the large face on the cover of a Nelson Mandela biography and asks her great-aunt, “Who’s that?”

Yes, she wants the Mandela book, I think to myself.

“You’ll learn about him in time. Get something you know about,” the woman responds sternly.

The curious reader chooses Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Green Eggs and Ham.

A new chalkboard on top of the rig reads, “Free Books.”


Location, Location…


Logically, turnout last year was sporadic when the temperature hovered in the upper nineties or higher. Some days, two sweaty kids braved the heat for books. On milder afternoons, many more walked away with summer reads. So the haunting question throughout this year has been how to give away more books.


When homeroom teachers around Clarke County were given the Summer Food Service Program flyers to send home before school let out, the issue of low turnout during Bibliobike deliveries was potentially solved. The plan is to arrive when lunches are being distributed. Before or after kids and families get their meals, they will also be able to grab some books.

I toured the Broadacres, Rocksprings and Lay Park neighborhoods on May fifth to get a feel for resident density and find routes that minimize the number of hills. I snapped some photos, and if the ones above are any indication of the need for books in these communities, it’s going to be a successful summer.

Mutual Aid Across County Lines


Linda Schroeder is an integral part of the Oconee Area Resource Council, a 501 (C) (3) non-profit providing food for families in need year-round, in addition to offering mentoring services to K-12 students throughout Oconee County. In Linda’s words, “We are one full time and two half time staffers. We have a good number of volunteers and a supportive board, and that’s how we are able to get a lot done.”

Linda’s serendipitous email last week couldn’t have been more timely, as the process of organizing this summer’s books had just begun. She offered to donate a large collection of used children’s books already sorted by by age, which will save a significant amount of energy when it’s time to load up the Bibliobike in a few weeks. It took two trips to transport the collection, which now occupies a considerable amount of space at the house.




Many thanks to Linda for reaching out, and to everyone working to help folks in need. When we commit to the well-being of others, it’s curious how quickly compassion spreads.


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Classroom Library

Protected from winter elements, the rig’s now a curious part of our classroom library (the most frequented section by this year’s crew of graphica fanatics), where it houses a growing collection of graphic novels, comics, zines and DIY books.

Thanks again to everyone for contributing time and money, and to those who continue donating books for next summer’s deliveries. Please keep them coming.

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As the temperature climbs and more and more water is required to replenish ounces lost en route, I wonder how much weight I’m hauling every time I pass this sign at a moving and storage company on Old Jefferson River Road.


Making good time on the way to Amethyst and Elkview, I pedal onto the scale. When a man in a baseball cap and beige cargo shorts steps out to greet me, I ask how sensitive the scale is, and whether or not it would work for the Bibliobike. He says it’s accurate within twenty pounds, “So it should.” He walks back inside. When he returns, he says, “Including you, a total of four hundred pounds.” No wonder.


On the way back, I stop and forage.

Conversations About Books

Here’s a flyer that will be distributed to families during Bibliobike visits for the duration of the summer (thanks again to Tobie Bass for translation help).


Conversations About Books

During reading or after reading a book, it is important for an adult (or older child) to talk with the child about the book.  Below are some examples of questions to use during a conversation about a book.  Children should try to answer in complete sentences.


Adult:  What is this book about?

Child:  This book is about…


Adult:  What did you like about this book?

Child:  I liked…


Adult:  Why did this (event) happen in the book?

Child:  That happened because…


Adult:  What will happen after that?

Child: After that,…


Adult:  How do you know what happened?

Child:  I know what happened because…


Adult:  Why did the character behave like that?

Child:  The character behaved like that because…


Adult:  What would you have done?

Child:  I would have…


Adult:  Did you ever do something like that?

Child:  I did something similar when…

Or, I never did anything like that.


Adult:  How did it make you feel?

Child:  It made me feel…


Adult:  How would you feel if that happened to you?

Child:  If that happened to me, I would feel…



Conversaciones Sobre Los Libros

 Mientras o después de leer un libro, es importante que un adulto (o niño más grande) hable con el niño sobre el libro.  Abajo hay unos ejemplos de preguntas para usar durante una conversación sobre un libro.  Los niños deben tratar de contestar en frases completas.


Adulto:  ¿De qué se trata este libro?

Niño:  Este libro se trata de…


Adulto:  ¿Qué te gustó de este libro?

Niño:  Me gustó…


Adulto:  ¿Por qué pasó (un evento) en el libro?

Niño:  Pasó porque…


Adulto:  ¿Qué sucederá después?

Niño:  Después…


Adulto:  ¿Cómo podrías saber qué pasó?

Niño:  Yo sé qué pasó porque…


Adulto:  ¿Por qué el personaje se comportó en esa forma?

Niño:  El personaje se comportó en esa forma porque…


Adulto:  ¿Qué hubieras hecho?

Niño:  Yo hubiera…


Adulto:  ¿Alguna vez hiciste algo parecido?

Niño:  Hice algo parecido cuando…

o (Nunca hice algo así.)


Adulto:  ¿Cómo te hizo sentir?

Niño:  Me hizo sentir…


Adulto:  ¿Cómo te haría sentir si a tí te hubiera pasado…?

Niño:  Si eso me pasara a mi, me haría sentir…