Ninth Little Free Library Installed

LFL_Nate_Levy_ParkPosted: July 29, 2014

The Boys & Girls Club of Erie and Gannon University are pleased to announce the ninth installation of a Little Free Library, made possible through a grant from the PNC Foundation.

This donation allowed Sarah Morgan, an AmeriCorps VISTA member at Gannon, to lead four AmeriCorps VISTA summer associates to do their part to help promote literacy and a love of reading. Morgan  lead this week-long building project as part of AmeriCorps week.  

Erika Ramalho, director of community and government relations stated, "Erie-GAINS is emblematic of Gannon's commitment to the community and to the students.  One of our goals is to support the collective community work to improve literacy by grade 3.  We are proud to increase the number of Little Free Librarie s  in the City of Erie while also supporting students and young leaders to be civically involved."

Little Free Libraries resemble oversized birdhouses and are a type of community "book exchange." Passersby can take a book, read it and return it at their convenience. There is no charge to borrow books and anyone may contribute books on their own.

In keeping with Gannon's mission of service, volunteerism and civic engagement, the University introduced the libraries to northwestern Pennsylvania in November 2012.  The first eight Little Free Libraries were designed and constructed by the students in the first-year seminar of Karinna Vernaza, Ph.D., associate professor, mechanical engineering.

John Popoff, chief of operations for the Boys & Girls Club of Erie stated, "Our agency's mission revolves around inspiring youth to become productive and engaged citizens.  We are excited to host a Little Free Library for our youth and for the community around us."

The PNC Foundation's donation was used to purchase materials to build this library as well as the library at Nate Levy Park.  PNC Regional President, Northwestern Pennsylvania, Marlene Mosco said, "PNC is proud to support innovative education programs and opportunities to engage in early education initiatives. PNC is committed to early education and literacy as part of our Growing Up Great corporate initiative." 

Little Free Libraries resemble oversized birdhouses and are a type of community book exchange.  The Little Free Library movement was founded by a Wisconsin sustainability organization in 2009 and aims to inspire the placement of Little Free Libraries worldwide. Current library locations for the Erie community include Poetry Park, 638 E. 22nd Street; Dobbins Landing; Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park (LEAF);  St. Benedict Education Center, 330 E. Tenth Street, the YMCA of Greater Erie Downtown Branch, 31 W. 10th Street; Bayview Park, W. 2nd & Cherry streets; the Boys and Girls Club of Erie, 1515 E Lake Road; the Erie Intermodal Transportation Center, 208 E. Bayfront Parkway and Villa Maria Apartments, 815 Plum Street.