Montreal Libraries Introduce Bicycle Desks

By November 16, 2018Libraries, News

For some, the idea of sitting still for long periods of time with a good book is hard to beat, but for others, particularly children, it can be extremely difficult to remain still and concentrated on their book of choice. Fidget Spinners recently became popular with those who need some stimulation whilst focusing, and now libraries in Montreal, Canada are introducing bicycle desks.

As CBC reports, the bicycle desks feature a regular desk that can be used to read and write, but they’re attached to a cycling machine which allows users to pedal as they study. 57 bicycle desks, some for adults and some for children, have been introduced to 45 libraries across Montreal. Library officials have stated they’re designed to make libraries as accessible as possible to all kind of people, especially those who find it hard to sit still.

The bicycle desks have already been introduced in several libraries, including Outremont’s Robert-Bourassa Library, and they’re a hit. “As soon as we walked in, the girls just climbed on and started to go,” Rani Cruz told CBC. “They’re really fun.” Her children apparently found the bicycle desks so enjoyable that they wanted tro return the very next day.

“I think all the libraries should have them,” she said. “There are a lot of kids that, when you go into the library, basically just run around and I think that might help.”
“The bicycle desk allows children to channel their energy by pedaling, which helps them to concentrate while sitting,” librarian Élizabeth Jacques told Radio-Canada. So far there have been no complaints over their instillation. There are also adult sized bikes for more mature readers and, if so desired, the bikes can be set up so parents and kids can read and bike side by side.

Natalie Martin, who is working on the initiative, stated the first five bicycle desks were installed in 2017 and proved successful. The bikes are being more widely distributed and the usage will be monitored as the program continues.

“For now, we are going to see how it goes — if the adults are as satisfied as the children — and maybe move them around just to adjust,” she said.

Not only are the desks fun for children, but they are also very useful to those with attention disorders, like ADHD. They’re good for those who have motor impairment or other conditions that are helped by some light exercise. These bicycle desks may just be the beginning as more universal accessibility improvements will be revealed soon.

“It’s all part of making our services really accessible to everybody,” said Martin.

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