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BikeSmart Launch Celebration
Stark County District Library to host BikeSmart Launch Celebration during First Friday in June

By Stark County District Library
Released/Published: Jun 15, 2015

Stark County District Library is hosting a BikeSmart Launch Celebration during First Friday on June 5, 2015. In collaboration with Stark Parks and Canton Parks and Recreation, Stark County District Library is launching BikeSmart, Stark County's Bike Share. The idea for BikeSmart came out of a TomTod Dreamoratory session where middle school students devised the concept that Stark County could use a free bike rental system.

After researching the concept, the library, Stark Parks and Canton Parks and Recreation came to the agreement to evenly divide the cost for the project and work with an existing bike share company, Zagster. Six bike hubs, each containing six rental bikes, are being installed throughout Stark County the week of June 1. Bike hubs will be located at the Main Library, Jackson Township Library, Perry Sippo Exploration Gateway, Canton Garden Center, Schneider Park/Middle Branch Trail and the Edward "Peel" Coleman Southeast Community Center.

"You could say that libraries are the first instance of what today is called the ‘sharing economy'" said Jean Duncan McFarren, Deputy Director for the Stark County District Library. "We're extending our history of letting people borrow and return things -but now it's bikes as well as books."

To kick-off this new free program, the library is hosting a kick-off event from 5-7pm on Friday, June 5 in the parking lot of the Main Library at 715 Market Ave. North, Canton, Ohio 44702. The event will be suitable for adults and children, and registration is not required. Highlights of the Launch Celebration will include:

  • 5pm: Ribbon cutting and brief program including words from TomTod participants and Jean Duncan McFarren, Deputy Director, Stark County District Library
  • Registration for BikeSmart and library cards
  • Demo rides on bright red BikeSmart bikes
  • Activities for children (chalking, cornhole, pinwheel craft)
  • Refreshments (popcorn and lemonade)-more-Main Library, DeHoff Memorial Branch, East Canton Branch, Jackson Township Branch, Lake Community Branch,Madge Youtz Branch, North Branch, Perry Sippo Branch, Plain Community Branch, Sandy Valley Branch

BikeSmart is being operated by Zagster, a nationwide provider of private and public-private bike sharing systems. Stark County residents and visitors who are interested in using a bike for free through BikeSmart and Zagster will first need an active library card. Patrons with an active library cardcan visit any Stark County District Library location and register for BikeSmart. With their BikeSmart registration they can borrow a bike at any time from any BikeSmart hub. In order to borrow a bike participants will use the Zagster Mobile App, available for iPhone and Android, or online at zagster.com/stark.

"A recent national survey found that while 53 percent of Americans would like to ride more often, 52 percent say they lack access to a functioning bike," said Timothy Ericson, co-founder and CEO of Zagster. "Thanks to Stark County District Library, residents and visitors now can ride a bike when they want, without worrying about buying, maintaining and storing one."

Zagster is developing a national footprint of bike sharing programs in cities like Canton, which face different challenges than large metro areas but nonetheless want to offer bike sharing to residents and visitors. Zagster has recently launched services in Carmel and Huntingburg (Indiana), Albuquerque (New Mexico), Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) and several others. Currently, Zagster has hundreds of bikes deployed at more than 70 partner sites in more than 30 cities/towns in more than 25states with thousands of members having taken tens of thousands of rides.

About the Library:

The Stark County District Library is a winner of the National Medal for library service, is one of the best 100 libraries in the U.S. according to the HAPLR rating, and is a Library Journal 5 Star library. Its Main Library, nine Branch Libraries, and two Bookmobiles and two Kidmobiles serve 150,000 library card holders.More than 1.4 million people visit the Stark County District Library each year, holdings number 884,000 items, and annual circulation is 3.6 million items. The collection includes books, audio visual materials,and periodicals for all ages. In addition, the Library provides programs and classes for adults, teens, and children, computer and Internet access, a downloadable collection of books and music, genealogy services, traveling collections on Bookmobiles and Kidmobiles, as well as outreach services to shut-ins, nursing homes, and housing units. It is one of the nine largest library systems in the state of Ohio, serving 12 local school districts.For more information, call 330-452-0665 or visit www.thesmartstore.org.

Stark County District Library: Inspire Ideas. Enriching lives. Creating Community.

About Zagster

Founded in Philadelphia in 2007 as CityRyde and now headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Zagster is the leading provider of private and public-private bike sharing systems. Zagster is uniquely focused on contracting with property managers, hotels, businesses, universities and smaller cities across North America to make bike sharing programs available to tenants, employees, guests, students and residents. This highly efficient and unique model allows Zagster to offer services in areas that traditional city-wide bike sharing systems can't reach. More information about Zagster is available at www.Zagster.com.

About TomTod

TomTod Ideas is a non-profit organization that empowers middle school students to launch absurd ideas that enhance the common good. They release the potential of tomorrow, today. Visit www.tomtodideas.org for more information.

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Relative Link: http://cantonohio.gov/parksandrecreation/?pg=1000
Contact Information: Jean Duncan McFarren, Deputy Director - 330.458.2706 - jmcfarren@starklibrary.org

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