For those of you who have not yet perused our About section, our bookmobile venture intends to work towards two ends: one, as a traveling library that works on a rent-barter-donate system and provides a variety of traditional and emerging library services; and two, as a bookmobile-for-hire which lends its space out to all mutually interested parties for mutually agreeable means.
The latter function is an entirely different animal with an entirely different business plan. I would like to use this space to detail how membership at The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library will work, and then make my plea for you to become a member now rather than later.
Membership at The BPTL is fairly simple, expecially if you already use Netflix. The cost of membership will depend upon which plan you choose. Plans range from borrowing one to five items at a time (this may change, but only in due time). The cost of membership for the one-item plan is $5 annually, $10 annually for the two-item plan, $15 annually for the three-item plan, and $20 annually for the five-item plan. Dues are collected once a year (initially, the first time you borrow).
The principle behind the annual membership is pretty straightforward: since we are a traveling library, it is entirely plausible that we will never see you or the items you borrowed again. There will be a reservation system but there won’t be due dates or, therefore, late charges. This meager, up-front, transparent charge helps ensure that we will not lose money if those items never come back while granting you full access to our traveling collection one year at a time. In my book, it’s win-win. (If you aren’t sold by the principle or the cost alone, perhaps our inventory will sway you.)
Now for the pitch.
At present, we are in the planning and fundraising stages of our endeavor. Integral to both of these stages is the concept of crowdfunding.
We’ve already found our bookmobile, but we don’t quite own it yet. We’ve made arrangements with the bookmobile’s current owner to hold it for us until the week of Thanksgiving, when we’ll be free to make the trip from Houston to Gallipolis, Ohio to obtain it. The asking price is $8,995. Getting there and back ought to cost us about another $1,000. This, hopefully, is where you come in.
To help us raise the money we’ll need to make the trip, we have launched a campaign on IndieGoGo asking for enough people to find enough kindness in their hearts to send, in total, $10,000 our way. The site details what all the $10,000 will go to, and how we will prioritize what we raise if we don’t raise the full sum. It also lists a set of incentives, or ‘Perks’, that we are offering for contributions, and I’ll list them again here:
-A $5 contribution to our campaign will reward you one year’s free membership on the one-item plan.
-A $20 contribution will merit you one year’s free membership on the five-item plan
-A $100+ contribution will earn you lifetime membership to The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library on the five-item plan
Sound familiar? For you, contributing either $5 or $20 to our IndieGoGo campaign is effectually the same as becoming a member at the bookmobile, except you don’t have to find us and you don’t have to travel anywhere. By obtaining membership this way, not only will you be among the first members of The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library, but your membership card will be mailed directly to you, and you’ll get to wield that card around knowing that you helped make it a reality.
So, please, if you would, if you could, consider becoming a member today. Even $5 will give you a full year’s access to our traveling collection. If you can’t contribute but know someone who can or may be interested, please help us get the word out. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, and link to our campaign.
Thanks for your time, and we look forward to seeing you around!