Sharing resources comes naturally to the Robert Crown Law Library at Stanford Law School, where more than just books and media circulate. Faculty, staff and students at the school also can borrow bikes and even a scooter from the law library’s “human-powered vehicle collection.”
PAUL LOMIO, library director and lecturer, is the curator of the collection. Started in 2006, the current collection offers bicycles named Beach Betty, Mountain Mike, Alto, Caroline (named after a library staff member who died), Dahlia and Paolo. Two more bikes are on order and are yet to be named.
“During the school year, the bikes are in almost constant circulation,” Lomio said. “Even our former dean once grabbed one to dash off to a lunch at the university president’s house.”
Since the bike fleet gets less use during the summer, Lomio noted that a visiting law professor from Arizona was able to borrow a bike for the entire summer last year, allowing him to be car-free at Stanford.
Due to the program’s popularity, the library limits its human-powered vehicle collection to use by affiliates of the Law School. The bikes have baskets, locks and lights, and riders can borrow the program’s bike helmets and a bike pump. The library has a service contract with Campus Bike Shop for maintenance.
ARIADNE DELON SCOTT, Stanford’s bicycle program coordinator, commended the Law School library.
“We are so grateful for the support of the Law School in promoting bikes and bike safety,” Scott said. “Parking and Transportation Services partnered with Sustainable Stanford on a How to Start a Department Bike Program guide, and the Law School library covered it all with their program. We’re glad to see that they loan bike helmets and encourage riders to purchase bike helmets at a discount at the Campus Bike Shop.”
Scott hopes other university departments will be inspired by the Law School library to create their own department bicycle program and adopt a bike safety policy similar to that of Sustainability and Energy Management.
“The bikes are one of the first things a visitor sees in our library – a nice first impression,” Lomio said. “To me, it would be a better world if it just became a given that libraries circulated bicycles.”
—LISA KWIATKOWSKI, Parking & Transportation Services