"The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library (BPTL) is the brainchild of two Houston-area librarians, Kelly Allen and Chris Grawl, a couple who met while getting their MSIS degrees from the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information. The BPTL will essentially be a free range bookmobile, operating on a rent-barter-donate system. Named after the protagonist of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, the BPTL will concentrate on the Greater Houston area, but its founders are open to collaborations further afield.
To buy the bookmobile itself, the founders have turned to crowdsourcing via IndieGogo. The vehicle, a 2004 Ford Cube Van, costs $8,995, and it will cost Allen and Grawl another $1000 to get to Ohio to pick it up over Thanksgiving. With 20 days to go, the crowdsourcing campaign has only raised $1,248 so far, even after a mention on popular website Boing Boing. But Allen and Grawl are determined to proceed whether they make the total or not. “If we don’t make our fundraising goal, we’re still going to proceed. We’ll just have to dip into our own (meager) savings a bit,” they told LJ."
"The Bookmobile will also double as a bookmobile-for-hire for library card drives and other uses. “While our space is likely most amenable to public libraries, we would be crazy not to make it available to other interested parties (school & academic libraries, museums, artists & art galleries, bookstores, etc.) for pop-up shops & galleries, exhibits, and the like. Part of the appeal of this bookmobile-for-hire model is the potential for the bookmobile to be a sort of incubator space, where individuals and organizations can try out new ideas and new services,” Allen and Grawl told Michelle Boule’s blog The Wandering Eyre.
They also told The Wandering Eyre that they wanted to serve as ambassadors for libraries to people who are not already using them, in particular by reading out to Houston’s flourishing food truck community."