SYRACUSE — In the spring of 2017 the Syracuse Lions Club built and installed their first Little Free Library in Syracuse, at the Wawasee Middle School.
It was followed by a second little library at Syracuse Elementary, then a third at the Syracuse Food Pantry. All were indoor libraries, and all served one of the core missions of Lions Clubs — to promote the love of reading for all ages. On Thursday, July 8, four years later, the club installed its fourth Little Free Library at the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation education center.
In keeping with its setting, this little library was installed outdoors—a first for the Lions.
Set among the flowers at the entrance to the Education Center offices, the library’s rustic design matches its woodsy setting. Both materials and construction are intended to withstand harsh weather over time, according to Lion Service Project Chair John Searfoss who, along with Lion Past President Marie Butler-Knight, was responsible for the library’s design and construction.
Searfoss also noted the library includes a piece of Syracuse history; its peaked gables are made from wood that was harvested from the kitchen of the old Sargent Hotel when it was demolished in the 1970’s. Syracuse Lion’s President Doris Yoder described the Little Free Library project as “yet another unique opportunity for our Lions to support literacy in the Syracuse Community.”
Dedication of the WACF Little Free Library was held at the Education Center, and stewardship of the library was accepted by Executive Director Heather Harwood. Also present at the dedication were Education Officer Pam Schumm and Director Linda Earnest. The library shelves were stocked with nature-related books for all ages, donated by Lions Club members and by the Half Price Books store in Fort Wayne.
The library invites readers of all ages to “Take a Book, Leave a Book,” encouraging book sharing and making free books accessible to the community.