Books Go Mobile in the Heart of Detroit

February 06, 2020

That’s Hi-Me Rodriguez and Crystal Ward and those bikes they are riding are bringing free books to children.

Crystal Ward: In this day and age kids are not reading nearly as much as they should be and that’s our big motivation to try to help them get there.

Their crusade began several years ago with a free library in their front yard.  That grew to building little free libraries for Brilliant Detroit.  And now you can find the pair cycling through the streets of Royal Oak – books in tow.

Mitch: And when you pull up to a school or a park what’s the initial reaction from kids and parents?

Hi-Me Rodriguez: The kids love it.  Once they understand its safe they just jump all over it they come and check us out and get a book and they may just sit down and read it.

Hi-Me and Crystal clock roughly 10 miles and deliver up to 200 books in each outing.  They also continue their book donations to Brilliant Detroit and they hope to one day bring both mobile libraries into the city.

Mitch: Why is this personally an important quest for you?

Hi-Me: Well for me I am legally deaf I read lips and reading was something that I could always depend on.  And when we get a kid at the library who you can just tell he’s reading the dust jacket and he’s looking at the series and you just know this kid reads books it sort of like I get this little chill like oh let me show you this other author that I know you would love it you love this your going love this author it gives us a chance to show people different books that they might be interested in.

Mitch: With the wizard hat do they ever ask you to perform some magic tricks?

Crystal: They ask us if we have ice cream (laughing)

Well they may not have ice cream but Hi-Me Rodriguez and Crystal Ward are giving new meaning to the “book mobile” right here in the heart of Detroit.