This segment is dedicated to all my creative muses. Each one of them on the daily hustle, working hard to support what they love the most. Whether it’s music, art, personalities, jewelry, or clothing, I support it all. I hope you take the time to check out their pages, like their socials, and show them some love.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am so excited to introduce to you my colleague and good friend Alicia Tapia, creative behind Bibliobicicleta. I’ve had the privilege of becoming friends with this stand-out soul and what I love most about this girl is that she is truly passionate about the people she surrounds herself with. She never fails to let you know that you’re awesome and that you’re loved. Through this project, she gets to shine her light. For all you teachers out there, if you follow her on twitter, she shares her fun Digital Literacy lesson plans, ones that I wish my teachers taught me while I was in school.
Ms. Tapia- YOU are legit and I hope you keep spreading the love of learning in your unique ways.
Who and what is Bibliobicicleta?
Bibliobicicleta is a roving bicycle “library” of free books in San Francisco. People take books, read books, and give books, though not always in that order. I’m Alicia Tapia. I’m a school librarian, a filipina mexicana from Hawaii, and I get to ride the Bibliobicicleta around town and meet all kinds of readers.
When did you start this project?
Bibliobicicleta started as an idea in late 2013. My co-librarian and friend Danielle Farinacci and I were joking about how cool and useful it would be to give away free books on a bicycle. Not only would we be giving away beautiful stories and information (which we have a lot of) but we’d also get to meet people, and people who wanted to read. Soon it was all I daydreamed about, I started drawing it, and finally got a Kickstarter campaign together. Bibliobicileta was funded by supporters and generous people from all over the world through Kickstarter. Bibliobicicleta represents a collective local and global community that believes in the joy of reading and celebrates literacy.
As a librarian, please explain how this combines all your passions bridging work and play…
I am passionate about the pursuit of information, access to it, and what happens when knowledge blooms into new ideas that move us forward. Knowledge + action liberates us. The bicycle itself is a symbol of creative action and liberation. The Bibliobicicleta is an extension of what I enjoy doing every day. As a school librarian my job is to help students practice closing the gaps in their knowledge and to provide access to books that allow students to experience lives much different from their own. When students read over time you begin to see their sense of empathy, their imagination, and their ability to think critically grow and create knowledge. I see the same thing happen when people of all ages look at the books on the Bibliobicicleta. I see people talking to each other again, information and stories being exchanged, compassion levels rising. I get to see people practice the dialogue we need so badly in our country today. But best of all, I get to see a lots of smiles!
What is BiblioBicicleta’s mission statement, or the inspiration, or motivation you want to give to your city/consumers?
Just keep reading and take time to DIGEST WHAT YOU READ! It doesn’t matter what kind of medium you are reading from, it’s so important to slow down and think about everything you’ve just read. Fast information needs to be pondered, stories are written to be enjoyed…just like bike rides. In a world of fast information, undigested knowledge gets exchanged in a manner too rapid for the joy of our human brain. Slow down, read and breathe!
If you could have anything, buy anything, expand anything with biblio.. what would it be? If not, that’s ok too..
If I could expand anything with Biblio, it would be somehow finding a way to a take a whole year or two off to ride the Bibiliobici to book deserts; places where books or information are banned or hard to obtain. There are whole state departments of education that won’t teach cultural studies or celebrate the cultural knowledge of their own students’ heritage. In this country we really take for granted our freedom to read and learn what we want or should. There are some real people around the world working for this same mission. Shout outs to the library camel in Mongolia, the librarian and elephant in Laos, a very eccentric man in Buenos Aires with his arma de instrucción masiva, Alfa y beto and Luis Soriano in Colombia. They are all my heroes.