Librarian Connects 4,000 L.A. Residents to Books with Book Bike, Earns Sixth Mayor's Civic Innovation Award

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LOS ANGELES--Mayor Eric Garcetti today presented the sixth Mayor’s Civic Innovation Award to librarian Ednita Kelly for developing, designing, and deploying a signature Book Bike, a human powered tool for library outreach. Mayor Garcetti presented the award during the kick off the 15th CicLAvia.

The Mayor’s Civic Innovation Award is given to L.A. City employees who develop creative and common sense solutions to everyday problems to provide better customer service for residents -- a core component of Mayor Garcetti's back to basics agenda.
"Ednita embodies the spirit of civic engagement," said Mayor Garcetti. "Her innovative Book Bike delivers our city's libraries and their incredible services directly to Angelenos, inspiring and educating thousands in our communities."

Ednita Kelly, a librarian at the San Pedro library branch, won funding for her Book Bike from the Library 'Ideas' fund in July 2014. Ednita was inspired to combine her love for cycling and her passion for the local community to promote the library and its services at neighborhood events across Los Angeles. The custom built bike can carry up to 200 lbs of books and includes a tablet for completing library card applications on the spot.

To date, the Book Bike has clocked almost 42 miles, allowing Ednita to engage with more than 4,000 Los Angeles residents. As a result, she has handed out almost 3,500 books and issued approximately 100 new library cards.

The Mayor's first Civic Innovation Award was awarded to Bureau of Sanitation SAN STAR employees who replaced paper maps with a smartphone app that allowed them to complete their routes faster and respond to more real-time requests, saving time and taxpayer dollars.

Other award winners include:

  • The Bureau of Engineering Survey team, specifically Survey Party Chief John Tosto, who developed a faster, inexpensive, tech-driven method to mark mile intervals and main entrances along a 7-mile stretch of the LA River bike path;
  • The Department of Building and Safety for their concierge service, which expedites building permitting for homeowners and small business owners;
  • The Office of the City Clerk, for an app the Election and Systems Divisions created to improve their process for supplying polling places; and
  • Recreation and Parks’ electrician Paul Jewett, for cutting energy usage and costs with his innovative ‘red button’, a timer switch which automatically shuts off the air conditioning if not used after two hours.