by ADAM GRUENEWALD
Located at the State Bank of Hamburg, the results of an effort by the Hamburg Lions is drawing plenty of attention and interest. Lions members collaborated to install a Little Library in the fall, and even with the presence of snow, it has drawn plenty of readers and is stacked to the brim with about 45 books.
Now that the snow has melted, Lions members are hoping for continued use of the library.
The Little Libraries, where anyone can take a book and leave a book, were promoted by Lions International President Wayne Madden. Hamburg Lions President Diana Kroells then brought it to the local club. Lions members Diane Hoffman did the finishing work and her husband Willy Fullner constructed it. Also, Pat Hegseth donated the plywood and shingling and Bruce Gruenhagen and Rich Kroells cemented the post.
Fullner, using his skill of woodworking and the ideas of Kroells, said it took about three or four days to complete the intricately designed project which has a German chalet style with black walnut trim and cedar shingles.
Hoffman, an avid reader herself, is one of many who have taken advantage of the program.
“I did go over one weekend because I was out of library books and was bored and I went over and found a couple of books to read,” she said, noting the experience is one she hopes others will have, especially those who can’t make it to the NYA Library. “We don’t want to take anything away from our wonderful public libraries. This is more for people who can’t get to the library. It’s a way for people to share their books.”
While the use of the library hasn’t been tracked, Hoffman said the amount of books in it has grown from 15 to 20 to more that 40. While there are no plans as of yet to build another library, Hoffman said the Lions International effort to focus on reading will continue.
“We’ll see how it goes,” said Hoffman, adding they have also donated books to Emanuel Lutheran School and members have volunteered time to read with kids.
The focus on kids is also part of the Little Library.
“This is especially good for families with children,” she said. “We’ve tried to put children’s books in there. You can’t always get to the library.”
In addition to the one at 591 Park Avenue in Hamburg, other Little Libraries in the area include one at 208 E. 2nd Street in Waconia and another at the 100 East Benton Street in Cologne. For more information about Little Libraries, visit littlefreelibrary.org.
Contact Adam Gruenewald at [email protected]