FORT WAYNE – Ten little libraries down, 90 to go.
Organizers of the Little Free Library program celebrated the installation of the 10th book box Thursday at the Renaissance Pointe YMCA, 2323 Bowser Ave.
The newest box was hand-painted with stripes, polka dots and handprints by students who participate in the Ys after-school program.
The Little Free Library project is part of a two-year celebration of the Rotary Club of Fort Waynes centennial, said Candace Schuler, club member and head of the local service committee.
The Rotary Club hopes to have 100 Little Free Libraries installed by June 2015.
Schuler said she heard of the Little Free Library program, which started in 2009 in Wisconsin, and suggested it as a project for the Downtown Rotary. The book boxes serve as gathering places where people pick up a book and bring back another book to share, or donate books theyve already read, according to the Little Free Library website.
In July, the Rotary installed the first little library at Washington Elementary School.
Washington was chosen because of its long-standing relationship with the Rotary Club, Schuler said. The club adopted the school in 2004 for a five-year service project that became permanent.
We didnt really have a game plan for the others, but when that first one came out, we got so many phone calls from people who were interested in doing it, it just spread, she said.
The other boxes are near Nebraska and Washington elementaries, parks and apartment complexes, as well as a local residents front lawn.
In the next few months, more boxes will be added, Schuler said, including at North Christian Church on Camden Drive, Rolf/Griffin Heating & Cooling on Fairfield Avenue and four boxes built and installed by a student, Caleb Schubert, as part of his Eagle Scout project.
Not only are the boxes a good way to promote literacy, they also bring neighborhoods together, Schuler said.
The Washington Elementary box has attracted much attention, including a note left on the little librarys door from a boy named Jordan Fry that reads Thanks for the books!
The Brincefield family decided to install their own Little Free Library in the front yard of their Oakland Street home.
Paul Brincefield said he came up with the idea after his 11-year-old daughter, Riley, came to him and said she had read all the books on her shelf.
Since the library was installed on Memorial Day, about 800 books have rotated through the box, he said.
Weve had neighbors that we didnt know who have lived here for 20 or 30 years stopping by, Brincefield said. We have kids from around the corner stopping every day.
Once, a few neighborhood boys tried to take off with the library in the middle of the night, but they were interrupted by neighbors who keep an eye on the box, he said.
Ive got about $8 invested in it, Brincefield said. Id say its about the best $8 Ive ever spent.