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By the loading dock of Seattle's downtown library, librarian Jared Mills checks his tire pressure, secures his iPads and locks down about 100 books to an aluminum trailer the size of a steamer trunk. The scene is reminiscent of something you'd see in an action movie, when the hero is gearing up for a big fight, but Mills is gearing up for something very different.
"If you're not prepared and don't have a lot of experience hauling a trailer, it can be kind of dangerous," Mills says, especially when you're going downhill. "The trailer can hold up to 500 pounds."
Mills is part of Seattle Public Library's Books on Bikes program, which aims to keep the library nimble and relevant by sending librarians and their bicycles to popular community events around Seattle.
After a hilly, 5-mile bike ride to a local farmers market, Mills sets up shop among the fruit and vegetable booths. The bright orange trailer is custom-made with bookshelves and an umbrella holder (it is Seattle, after all).
Malena Harrang, in her early 20s, is visiting the market with a friend. She says Mills' book station is "like [a] carbon-neutral library on wheels — doesn't get better than that."