Walk through a number of Spencer’s city parks and you may notice what look like little a little house or small, enclosed bookcase with reading materials stacked inside.
These are Little Free Libraries – small structures with books for people to borrow. The Spencer Public Library maintains seven little free libraries throughout the community, mostly in city parks.
The library has been stocking and caring for the little free libraries for two years. Library director Mandie Muehlhausen said they continue to become more popular.
“I know people do enjoy using them,” she said. “We do get calls when they’re getting low.”
Every so often, library staff goes out to stock the libraries with fresh books. Residents are also encouraged to put books in the libraries themselves.
“We don’t have to stock them as much because people just bring things from their house and put them there,” Muehlhausen said.
Six of the libraries located in city parks throughout Spencer were built by Jace Wiemers as part of his Boy Scouts Eagle Scout project. The library has another in the Gateway by IGL housing development off 13th Street SW.
The parks with little free libraries are: East Leach, Fairview, North School, Stolley, Sunset and Westview.
Muehlhausen encourages Spencer residents to fill the libraries with any book. The books can be for readers of all ages, fiction or nonfiction and any subject matter.
People can even put other types of reading materials in the libraries.
“We’ve even put radio operator manuals out there and they’ve gone,” Muehlhausen said. “You never know what people would be interested in.”
With most of the libraries being in parks, perhaps it’s no surprise that children’s books are always popular.
“Kids books, obviously, are the ones that go first,” Muehlhausen said.
If you want to donate a book to a little free library, you can place one in a library yourself or bring books the Spencer Public Library.
Feature photo: This little free library is located in the Gateway by IGL housing development off 13th Street SW.
“Have You Noticed?” is a new series about observations, big and small, from around the Spencer community that you may or may not have noticed. Email your ideas for the series to Tim Weideman.