LIBRARIANS are going to need to step up their workout regime for a new initiative – pulling Swindon Central Library around on a bicycle.

The library’s Outreach team, led by Anish Noble-Harrison, successfully applied for £7,000 from Carnegie UK Trust’s Library Lab project to support the scheme, which will see library services taken out on the road.

The trust, which seeks to improve the lives and wellbeing of people, awarded grants to seven libraries across the UK and Ireland from a total of 80 applications.

Anish, 34, who lives in Swindon town centre, put forward Get On Your Library Bike, which will see the library’s services taken out and about on a bicycle.

“I haven’t heard of anything quite like this in the UK,” she said.

“We have got a great outreach team here. We are always thinking of new and different ways to approach people, particularly those who haven’t accessed it in a long time.”

The Library Lab project was something brought to Anish’s attention by her manager and, after what she called a critically reflective process full of questions, the bid was submitted to Carnegie.

The bike is something Anish had considered for some time, but proved unsuccessful in securing funding from other avenues.

The inspiration comes from libraries across the US, where the idea has taken off, especially in Seattle.

The concept of a library bike is something which is better associated with deprived and geographically hard-to-reach areas, but Anish is confident it will work in Swindon.

The idea is that it will roll up to carnival and community events across the town, including Swindon Mela, Swindon And Wiltshire Pride and Highworth May Day.

Anish is adamant this mobile library will not replace the better known vans which take books to the corners of Swindon.

“It’s going to have a carnival feel and a community feel as well. We want it to be a pop-up library service,” she said.

“It’s going to have an electric capacity because biking here, there and everywhere might be difficult.

“There might be a trailer or something at the back, perhaps something on the front.”

Anish was only informed of her bid success a few weeks ago, and the bike itself is some way off, but there are hopes it will be in commission before May next year.

It will be good timing for her and her team.

“It’s a difficult time for a lot of the public sector. We are not particularly special in that respect. It’s tough times for everyone,” she said.

“It’s showcasing the services in a fun, quirky way. It breaks down those barriers for those who don’t think it’s for them.

“There is so much on offer they don’t know about.”