Oakland, California is a various and complicated metropolis. Twice the world of San Francisco and half the inhabitants, it’s a metropolis with room to breathe. And that breath is stuffed with vibrant expressions of civic engagement, social activism, city artwork, and hyper-local group tradition. ‘Oakland is Proud’ has lengthy been a unifying sentiment shared throughout its many neighborhoods. Rooted in that friendship is a historical past of grassroots organizing pushed to supply assist for the group from inside the group.
Anthony Propernick is the Senior Library Assistant and Supervisor on the 81st Avenue Department of the Oakland Public Library. Located in East Oakland, a area that’s feeling the consequences of the town’s fast-paced gentrification quiet otherwise than it’s typically spotlighted Uptown district, the neighborhoods this department serves are nonetheless challenged by an absence of primary infrastructure and providers. Lower than a decade outdated, the department offers trendy library providers like free public web entry, group workshop and research house, bicycle restore clinics, in addition to many off-site outreach packages like movie screenings and laundromat story occasions.
Final 12 months, with the efforts from Anthony and supported by grants and fundraising by the Associates of the Oakland Public Library, Oakland Public Library bought its first Xtracycle–an eSwoop in Zone Blue with a full Hooptie system. Since then the outreach staff from OPL has been capable of journey their OPL Bike Library to city-wide group occasions and festivals the place they provide free books and useful assets from their customized bike trailer. And their fleet is increasing.
“Not too long ago, we bought two extra Xtracyle Edgerunners to broaden on our offsite programming, particularly cellular bike restore in East Oakland. East Oakland lacks bike infrastructure and bike outlets. Since 2014, we’ve supplied bike restore clinics at our 81st Ave Department Library which has expanded to our Martin Luther King Jr. Department on 69th Ave and Worldwide Blvd.,” writes Anthony. “The brand new bikes and gear are a results of this work together with curiosity and funding from the Metropolis of Oakland Division of Transportation to broaden on what we’ve been doing with FREE bike restore in East Oakland. So, the brand new bikes and trailers will likely be used as cellular bike library restore models serving communities missing entry to bikes and bike restore.”
Because the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the bike restore clinics and most all library service have been on pause. Anthony and his accomplice Manny Hernandez had been redeployed as catastrophe service staff and have been coordinating meals distribution since early Could. They discovered a brand new technique to make the most of the bikes to often carry further meals they get from Oakland eating places and ship them to homeless encampments close to the 81st Ave. Department library.
Along with Reginald “RB” Burnette Jr., president of the unique Scraper Bike Staff, Anthony’s staff is gearing as much as relaunch their bike restore clinics at 81st Ave and MLK libraries. They’re additionally within the course of of buying the rest of the instruments and provides wanted to launch their cellular bike restore clinics.
Xtracycle works to empower individuals with transformational instruments that transfer the physique and spirit and we’re thrilled to see Anthony and his staff placing these instruments to such direct use.
If you need to assist Anthony and his staff with OPL Bike Library providers please take into account donating to the Friends of the Oakland Public Library. Or, for in-kind donations of repairable bikes and elements equivalent to tubes, patch kits, brake and shifter cables, tires (20in mostly wanted), stability bikes, chains, pedals and grips, please contact Anthony Propernick on the 81st Avenue Department of the Oakland Public Library at 510-238-3569.