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Street Books is a bicycle-powered mobile library in Portland, Oregon, lending books to people who live outside.
Street Books is a bicycle-powered mobile library in Portland, Oregon, lending books to people who live outside.
157 backers pledged $5,345 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$5,345

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This project started with a grant from Portland’s Regional Arts & Culture Council. All summer we lent books to people living outside, got to know them well, and had great discussions about literature. We also invited our patrons to be photographed with the book of their choice, and to contribute their own stories from the road. Those photos and stories are available at:  http://streetbooks.org .

When we first launched back in June, naysayers said that our patrons would never bring the books back. In fact, the opposite is true: our patrons, even though they live outside, or in shelters, have brought the books back regularly, sometimes donating a paperback or two from their own backpacks. We have committed regulars who visit the library at least once, sometimes twice a week, for books and conversation. They count on us being there, and we want to come through for them. 

Instead of wrapping up the project when the grant ends in August, we want to continue to run the library and connect our patrons to good books. Kickstarter funds will help us with our winter operations, which include maintaining the bike library, keeping the bookshelves stocked, and helping us rain-proof our bike library in one of the wettest cities in the United States.

Your donation will go toward: 

* Street librarians: 20 hours per week, staffing the library and posting photos/stories of patrons. We would also like to hire our patrons to help with the project, when possible.

* Rain protection for the book cart: We are currently strategizing about the best rain cover/canopy for our bike library with James Moulton, the design/builder who originally built the Street Books bicycle. Donations will help purchase necessary materials.

*  Storage space:  In a happy turn of events, we've been inundated us with book donations. We need a space to store all of the books and library materials, including equipment like shelves and boxes.

*  Bike & Library Maintenance: We will make a few modifications like upgrading the book shelf kickstand, and waterproofing the book box. We also need to maintain the bicycle through the winter.

We are committed to keeping the Street Books library in operation. Your donation helps us get through the winter, and keeps us going while we work on securing nonprofit status and explore different sources of funding that will support us in the future.

Thank you for taking time to learn about Street Books!

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    our love and gratitude (and a virtual high five)

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    9 backers
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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    all above + listed as a supporter on our website

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    19 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    all above + a personalized SB thank you card + bookmark + SB sticker and button

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    29 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    all above + a book will be donated to the street books library in your name

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    55 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    all above + a personal phone call of thanks from a Street Books librarian

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    1 backer
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    all above + a handmade Street Books zine by Laura Moulton

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    7 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    all above + disposable camera filled with photos of images taken by a person living outside. You develop the film.

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    9 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    above + a 11 x 14 Street Books photo by Israel Bayer, executive director of the Street Roots newspaper

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    3 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    all above + (local supporters) be a street librarian for a day with one of the Street Books staff

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    1 backer
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    all above + (local supporters) dinner and roundtable literary discussion with Street Books patrons and well-known local Portland authors

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    all above + (local supporters) Arm-wrestle with Jason Breedlove, ex-con con and author of several books. If you win, you get a signed copy of one of his books

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Funding period

- (30 days)