McMaster, Mohawk libraries lend bikes along with books

May 25, 2016

University library collections are growing in nontraditional ways. Students at McMaster University and Mohawk College in Hamilton, ON can now borrow bicycles for free from their libraries as part of a non-profit bike-sharing program, Start the Cycle. The program was started in 2014 by PhD candidate Charles Burke, who at the time was studying transportation geography at McMaster. A growing trend on campuses across Canada, bike share programs exist at the University of Calgary and Carleton University for paying customers. McMaster librarian Lynne Serviss sees the program as mutually beneficial, as it promotes physical activity, free transportation for students, and an institution’s library facilities: “I think it provides an opportunity for us to showcase other things that we do, other than just circulate books. We have a service and infrastructure that circulates a variety of things, so it’s important for us to be part of that community.” University Affairs