Finding Little Free Libraries can be like finding a treasure chest at the end of a treasure hunt. Driving down the road and spotting decorative wooden boxes is a delightful way to brighten a trip with the anticipation of what might be inside…a sought after favorite or a new picture book for the children in the backseat. Now, the Minnesota Veterans’ Home of Silver Bay has added three little libraries to the hunt.
A desire to have an ongoing project for Veterans’ Home residents was the impetus for the project. Julie Luchsinger, the recreation department supervisor, pitched the idea, and the rest of the recreation staff unanimously agreed it would be a worthwhile project.
“We at the Veterans’ Home don’t like to isolate ourselves from the outside, so in addition to the libraries being a fun and constructive building project for the residents, it was also a way to connect with the community and promote something as impactful as reading,” recreation staff member Joel Zinski said. “We plan on having a variety of selections in each one with the hope that anyone passing by may be away. The little libraries grew from there, and by 2010 the name Little Free Library was established.
Special thanks goes to Frank Stella and Doug Fairchild for their hours of effort building the libraries. Thanks also to Julie Luchsinger for initiating the idea; the memory care unit residents and staff for painting the libraries; Randall Walz, the Volunteer Services Coordinator, for finding locations for the libraries; Shannon Walz, the public library director, for accepting a Little Free Library on the library grounds; and “all the other staff who offered encouragement to those involved. It was truly a team effort,” Zinski concludes.
Keep an eye out for these and other little free libraries throughout Silver Bay, along the North Shore, throughout the United States, and around the world!