Tracey Edson and Katie Cappelletti
While many people spent their summer watching Netflix or hanging out by the pool, the Jamesville-DeWitt High School Book Club spent their summer constructing a Little Free Library and figuring out the logistics of maintaining it. They built, filled and kept watch on the LFL this summer with help from our school’s library media specialist, Mary Panek. The LFL offers people of all ages the opportunity to enjoy reading at no cost.
The LFL is about the size of a two story birdhouse, that holds books for all ages. There are many around Syracuse, some in neighborhoods around the Syracuse area as well as in the local parks. The LFL put in by the J-DHS Book Club is in Ryder Park, off Butternut Drive in East Syracuse.
The idea of the LFL came from the students involved in the Book Club “One of the students wanted the club to do a community project and she came up with the idea of putting a Little Free Library together,” said Ms. Panek. The Book Club had to go in front of the DeWitt town board and present this idea. The town board decided to put it in the children’s playground area. This gives parents the choice of reading a book while their kids play, as well as reading to their children.
President of the Book Club, senior Emily Ashe, and vice president, sophomore Sophie Stokoe, have helped keep the LFL enjoyable for everyone through the fall, along with the other Book Club members. “Every week or so we go there and check to see whether there are enough books in the actual container,” said Stokoe.
The LFL is used frequently by visitors at the park. “When I stopped to see it over the summer, I saw little kids pulling out books, (and) adults sitting under trees reading,” said Ashe. So far this LFL in Ryder Park has had a great impact on the visitors that go to Ryder.
As the weather gets colder the Book Club will be taking the books out of the LFL in Ryder Park and will be keeping them in the library at J-DHS. The Book Club plans to return the books in the spring as the weather starts to get nicer.