London’s bicycle library makes me weak in the knees


© 2011

 I’m glad none of you can see me as I prepare this post. My eyes are wide and my cheeks are flushed and I’m smiling far too widely. I melt for stuff like this. When I visited my brother recently in Jakarta, I was thrilled to discover that outside of the former town hall in Old Town one could rent a bike with a bonnet to match. Well, this is just as brilliant, possibly more so…


Most of us are no strangers to libraries where you can borrow books but what about libraries where you can borrow bikes? Well, that’s exactly what The Bicycle Library is (a mobile library advocating bicycles). Not only does this London-based business promote green transportation, it’s also situated in a converted double decker bus.Inside the adapted bus, there is a “library“/gallery on the top floor with a showroom on the first level. Londoners who need expert advice on which bike they should rent or buy can speak to an in-house “librarian” specializing in all things two-wheeled. There’s even an array of actual books pertaining to – what else? – bicycles, on hand for reference. The first floor also boasts a shop with clothing and biking accessories.

Just as you would in a regular library, you can browse thorough different bikes, take them out and even test them out on the track outside. There are seven types of bicycles to choose from: folding, MiniVelo, FGSS (Fix Gear Single Speed), Ladies Coaster, Mens Coaster, cargo and electric, so you’re sure to find one that’s right for you. And if you find, after renting it for a while, that you’ve met your perfect bike match, the Bike Library even has a borrow to buy program so that you can make it your own.

Read more: The Bicycle Library Invites Londoners to “Borrow” Bikes Inside a Converted Double Decker Bus The Bicycle Library – Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World 


Edinburgh Jail’s Library Wins UK Libraries Change Lives Award


Operated in collaboration with Edinburgh City Libraries, the Edinburgh Jail Library was designed and built with the help of prisoners in a refurbished wing of the jail. More information on this library and the 2010 finalists here. Read more about the Libraries Change Lives Award here.