Street Books-NationSwell video

Meet the professor who began a library on wheels to make sure people on the fringes of society have access to literature and stimulating conversation—even chats about Chomsky.

Laura Moulton, a writing professor in Portland, Oregon, outfitted her bike with a mobile library and for several years, has been biking straight to the homeless every week, serving all genres of books to over 5,000 patrons.

“Being recognized and spoken to on the street and offered a book for someone who has really been struggling can be a really powerful thing,” Moulton told Nation Swell.

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Borrowing books from libraries is difficult for the homeless because they lack the required documents, like identification, and a home address needed to get a library card. Additionally, their everyday lives make it hard for them to return books on time, or in good conditions, triggering hefty fines. Many simply give up the luxury, which makes mobile libraries an ideal solution.

Her program, called Street Books, has received grants, but mostly is powered by people donating the books, and by Mouton peddling them to grateful readers.

(WATCH the video below from NationSwell)

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