If the readers won't come to the library, the library must go to the readers, Source: Pencho Slaveikov Regional Library

Accessible reading: Varna Regional Library Delivers Books by Bike

Accessible reading: Varna Regional Library Delivers Books by Bike

The cargo bikes are gaining momentum in European cities in a push for sustainability

BiblioBike - this is the name of the newest service offered by the regional library Pencho Slaveikov in Bulgaria’s seaside port of Varna. The innovative approach is meant to make reading physical books more accessible and bring it closer to those readers who might have difficulties to reach the public building.

Traditional institutions don’t have to lag behind in sustainability

In particular, the service targets mothers with children and the elderly living in remote areas, but it can also prove helpful to those with physical impairments. The service is also an example of putting sustainable public transport in service of traditional institutions.

BiblioBike will be available seasonally, during the months of April to November, depending on weather conditions. To get their books, readers need to order them digitally through the e-catalogue of Pencho Slaveikov Library.

The books are then delivered by cargo bike according to a pre-determined schedule at three “biblio points” – locations across Varna. The points have been selected minding the available bike infrastructure in Bulgaria’s so-called “seaside capital”. All three locations are conveniently located in nice public areas such as parks, that are frequented by mothers with toddlers and are also appreciated by the elderly.

The effort is part of a continuous sustainability effort of the library, which started back in 2008, when the digital library was introduced. As of recently, the readers can also get their reservation confirmation by email, rather than on paper.

Two years ago, the regional library also introduced another accessibility service. As of 2022, it offers the possibility to borrow books outside working hours by reserving them online and reclaiming them in lockers, which are available 24/7.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU