We are two bicycle tourists that are writing an article about cyclists using public libraries along tour routes.
As a RAGBRAI rider, do you ever stop at libraries? If yes, please post here or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you and share your experience with others.
In particular– do you remember any libraries that were particularly helpful or hospitable? Was it easy to access a computer? What were some of the things you did/used while at the libraries? Did the RAGBRAI organizers facilitate locating the libraries in any way?
Many thanks in advance, Beth Cramer, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC (alias bethantigua)
Yes i have stopped in libraries on RAGBRAI but not to use computers, it’s a week away from them. The only sign I usuallt see the the white on blue generic “Library” roadsign. I work in the Iowa State university Library, but I am not a librarian. And stopping in libraries doesnt get me out of having to use vacation days
Yes, we use libraries along the route. they provide water, bathrooms, air conditioning, computer access, and they turn a blind eye toward folks dozing in their furniture. I think it helps that we look pitiful, hopeful, and grateful.
They are not neccessarily advertized but we know enough to look for them.
I visited the library at Webster City. Rested, cooled off and used a computer. Nice, cool, and very quiet break. One of my team mates, a salesman, was not officially off during ragbrai week. Each day he rode from library to library, not just in the overnight towns, and used their computers to stay in touch with customers and customer orders.
On RAGBRAI you will find public libraries, schools and colleges open for the riders to use. As well as private institutions like YMCA and YWCA’s.Churches, VFW, Knights of Columbus, Masonic lodges, Lions Club, and many more. They are all open. all friendly and ready to help the riders. Many have open WiFi and have their media centers open to use computers. RAGBRAI does suggest open libraries to the towns on the route. One of RAGBRAI sponsors, Windstream. Has several media trailers out on the route each day. As well in the overnight towns. The trails have about 20 laptops and 20 VOIP phones. The service is free to riders. Verizon is the sponsor cell service. They bring COWS and COLTS to supplement cell service. Personally I use libraries as a water and bathroom stop.Sometimes just to rest and cool off. Other times its to upload photos and update friends and family about daily happenings on the route. I have also sent pictures and stories back to my works news blog. I work at a TV station. I have an interest in old builds. I always check out old farms, one room school houses, churches and libraries. In particular Carnegie Libraries, Iowa had 101. I believe all are standing except 8.
Last year, the Cole Library at Cornell College provided just the rest that I needed. By Day #5 of the ride I had a serious case of edema. The EMTs advised that I put my feet up and rest for an hour, while drinking water. The library provided the perfect spot – I laid on the floor with my feet on a chair, read some magazines, and enjoyed the view of King Chapel. The library staff was as kind as could be while I enjoyed the air conditioning and got my feet back to small enough they didn’t quite look like they were going to explode.