1:57 p.m., April 30, 2013

LCCC Little Library

Portable library

Dishwasher with the little library roof waits on a trailer to be installed at the COMEA House.

Dan Herring, Photo Editor

Little ways to bring big adventures back

National Little Free Libraries coming
to campus, city

So often bookshelves are now filled with pointless knickknacks instead of well-handled books with dog-eared pages and bookmarks. But Laramie County Community College’s “Human Services Case Management” class is waging a war for literacy by joining the nationwide movement of Little Free Libraries. Yes, they are bringing books back to Cheyenne. The first little free library was installed at 10 a.m., April 20, in front of the “Blue Arches” at LCCC.

The way the Little Free Libraries operates is a person donates a book to receive a book. Passing the book to another person to take another day saves it from setting on someone’s shelf until it falls apart.

The little libraries take many forms. Almost all the Cheyenne little libraries are planned outside and are reinforced for typical Wyoming weather. One such library is an old dishwasher, polished up, so that when it is opened, the books will come out on the dish racks. Other items, like an old fish tank, are made into little libraries. Each little library is adorned with a little roof, to distinguish it, some fancier than others. The library that will be placed at the Cheyenne Boys and Girls Club is on a picnic table in a wooden box that spins.

Shani Anderson, one of the students working on the project, called the project challenging but rewarding. There were a few worries with setting up the libraries, such as vandalism and weather, but “that’s why we have lifelong caretakers,” Anderson said.

National movement takes root in Cheyenne

The movement works all across the country, so why cannot it work in Cheyenne?

Dr. JoLene Klumpp, the faculty adviser for the class, got the idea from her sister, who had read about the movement. Last year, when she mentioned it to her class, they were not interested in doing it for their project. However, when Klumpp mentioned it this year to her class, they jumped at the idea.

Not everyone can afford a fancy iPad, and iPad batteries don’t last forever. But a book is always there. The Little Free Libraries aim to support literacy and promote the love of reading. With help from sponsors, donors and volunteers, the libraries help bring reading back to those who lost their place with it.

Donor, location lists provided

Donors are people or groups who paid the entire fee for a little library to be registered with a national database. The donors for the Cheyenne movement are the Optimist Club, which is sponsoring two libraries; Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power, B&S Hauling, Shane Moore from KidSTEP, the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens Children’s Village at Lions’ Park, Warren Federal Credit Union, LCCC, which is sponsoring two; Central High School, East High School, Karousel Kids, and individuals, Doreen Oakley and Dr. JoLene Klumpp, each sponsoring one.

Donors provide funds or supplies to help build the libraries or come up with registration fees. The donors for the Cheyenne movement are the Optimist Club, Cheyenne Light Fuel and Power, Orchard Valley Water Co., #1 Properties, Wyoming Salvage, Pinecone Custom Furniture and individuals such as Dr. Lakham Gondalia, with the Early Bird Rotary Club;­ Terry Parys, a business student at LCCC; Kathy Snyder, the director of the surgical technology program at LCCC; and an anonymous individual donor.

These libraries are out in the elements and will need to be watched. Twelve groups or individuals have volunteered to be lifelong maintainers. They include Youth Alternatives, which is maintaining eight libraries, one in conjunction with B&S Hauling; East High School, Central High School, South High School, the Cheyenne Depot, the LCCC Rotaract Club, LCCC Student Services, the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens’ Children’s Village at Lions’ Park, Warren FCU employees, the Boys and Girls Club and individual Shane Moore.

The little free libraries will be found at COMEA House, East High School, Cheyenne Depot, which will be inside; LCCC, which will have two; Cheyenne Botanic Gardens’ Children’s Village at Lions’ Park, Central High School, South High School, Warren Federal Credit Union (7th Avenue), the dog park, Youth Alternatives, the Cheyenne Parks and Recreation Building, Cahill Park, North Park, KidSTEP, Cheyenne Greenway’s Henderson Ditch and Cleveland Shelter, and the Boys and Girls Club, which will have a new location shortly.

Human Services