This fall, the HLS Green Living Program and Harvard Law School Library have teamed up to launch the Read & Ride Bikeshare, a new program that provides free short- and long-term bike loans to all HLS community members. The bikeshare kickoff event was hosted September 23 at Langdell Library's Love Your Library Fest.
The Read & Ride Bikeshare program was dreamed up by the library staff looking for a way to help their FRIDA (document delivery) assistants get around more easily. They decided bikes could help the assistants go from Harvard library to Harvard library more easily, and lessen faculty wait time for requested resources. During the course of brainstorming, they realized they could use existing Hollis technology to loan out bikes the same way they loan out books, and decided to expand the vision to include all HLS community members.
As Harvard Law School Library Circulation Supervisor Derek Curtis explains, “the idea was pretty obviously a win for our patrons: not all students have bikes or the money to purchase a bike, and this program would allow more students and patrons in general the chance to explore Boston on a handy & free set of wheels.” The program is also supported and co-maintained by students in the Green Living Program who encourage using bikes as an emissions-free transportation alternative for getting around campus and Harvard Square.
The current fleet is comprised of 4 bikes all donated by graduating students, and many community members hope to see this number grow as the program gains traction on campus. HLS staff member Maura Kelley weighs in on growth potential: “I can see it expanding all around the campus in future…I think people will use the program much more than you ever expected.”
The program has the potential to create lasting impact by fostering sustainable behaviors among HLS faculty, students and staff. Green Living Representative Sameer Birring, JD ’13, draws the connection between the convenient new program and the long-term sustainability values the Green Living Program hopes to instill in community members through initiatives like the bike share:
“I've met many students here at HLS who want to ride a bike around Cambridge, but don't want to buy one. The HLS bike sharing program makes it easy for students to access bikes without having to worry about buying a bike, maintenance, and parking. Once students realize how convenient and fun bicycling is, they'll hopefully continue to cycle even after leaving HLS.”
Derek Curtis says that so far, patrons’ response to the program has been “very enthusiastic. Many people are amazed that a service this helpful is now available.”
Bikes can be checked out from the Langdell Library circulation desk. To learn more or reserve bikes online, visit the Harvard Law School Library's bikeshare webpage.