Pedaling Poets: Amy Hinton Tingle '91 tandem bikes the Midwest to build libraries and share poetry

As a student at Gettysburg College, Amy Hinton Tingle ’91 was an active force on campus—she was an R.A., a campus DJ, a tour guide, president of Gettysburg’s chapter of Chi Omega, and won the Linnaean Award during her senior year. So it may come of little surprise to those who knew her then that she is now amidst a massive adventure to provide more than 27 libraries to Midwestern communities from Colorado to Michigan. It may even come as even less of a surprise that she’s doing so on two wheels. 

Tingle is joined by fellow writing enthusiast, Maya Stein, on a 30-day, 1,400-mile journey that will take them from Boulder, Colorado, to Beloit, Wisconsin, via tandem bike. The project, dubbed Type Rider II: The Tandem Poetry Tour, builds upon a 2012 project in which Stein traveled from Massachusetts to Wisconsin to share poetry and inspire others to write.

In each Midwestern town through which they pass, Tingle and Stein will be stopping at community centers, markets, front yards, and other sites where they will join local townspeople in establishing Little Free Libraries. Since many of these communities don’t have public libraries of their own, the Little Free Libraries are helping to expand access to quality reading materials. And since the Little Free Libraries are stocked with books shared and borrowed by community members, they help build collaboration around a common interest. “Little Free Library is the perfect partner for us,” Tingle said. “Improving literacy? Inspiring creativity? Creating community? Yes, please. I’ll take more of all of that any day.”

Read More