Photo provided San Mateo County Libraries/Katie Woods

SAN MATEO, CA — Patrons at San Mateo County Libraries now have access to an exciting, new service — bicycles for checkout.

San Mateo County Libraries is proud to introduce a pilot program, Book-A-Bike, that makes a fleet of bicycles available for checkout at the Belmont Library. The program launched on Jan. 6 on a first-come, first-served basis to patrons 18 years and older with a valid library card. 

San Mateo County Libraries becomes one of just a handful of library systems nationally that offers bicycles for free checkout. The initiative mirrors the Libraries’ vision of providing boundless opportunities and a commitment to equitable access of resources to all.  

Bicycles for checkout was a staff generated and supported idea through the Libraries’ Pitch-It contest, where library staff pitch new service ideas and vote to implement their favorite. Community Technology Specialist David Vargas won over the crowd with his enthusiasm and unique perspective on how libraries can promote sustainability and healthy lifestyles.  

“This service further expands upon our robust collection of non-traditional library materials available for checkout and grants access to transformative experiences outside of our library walls,” said Vargas.

With an eye for less maintenance and more time on the road, the Libraries purchased a fleet of four low-maintenance bicycles. Other accessories include a helmet with a GoPro mount, a basket for cargo, bike light, bike lock, and first aid kit.   

Bicycles will be loaned out and are due back the same day 30 minutes prior to closing. Patrons must sign an online waiver before checking out a bike. For more information on the Book-A-Bike program, visit  

“It is so exciting to see our staff’s innovative ideas come to life,” said Charles Stone, Library JPA Governing Board Chair.  “Riding a bike is great for individual health, as well as our planet’s health. We look forward to evaluating the success of this pilot program and reviewing the possibility of expanding to more libraries in the future.”

Photo provided San Mateo County Libraries/Katie Woods

About San Mateo County Libraries

San Mateo County Libraries is a Joint Powers Authority that comprises the cities of Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, San Carlos, Woodside, and the unincorporated areas of San Mateo County. San Mateo County Libraries ignite growth through transformative experiences. Visit for information about our extensive digital and physical collections, twelve community libraries, Bookmobile, Lookmobile and the 12,000+ workshops, classes, concerts, readings, and other activities offered annually.

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