Gannon University's Erie-GAINS Initiative Sponsors a Series of Summer Picnics for Its Little Free Libraries Project
Posted: July 29, 2013
"A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because
somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and
staying up late reading them."
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't
The notable children's books author may not have had them in
mind, but the quote above certainly applies to the half-dozen
Little Free Libraries designed and constructed by Gannon University
engineering students and placed in neighborhoods around Erie.
And now to celebrate the installation of the libraries, Gannon's Erie-GAINS (Gannon
Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability) initiative is
helping neighborhood residents get acquainted with the Libraries at
a series of picnics.
The first three in a series of six picnics, which are funded by
a grant from the Erie Community Foundation, was held at HANDS/Villa Apartments, the St. Benedict Education
Center and the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park. At the picnics, neighborhood families are invited to learn about this project, get
a book, enjoy some food and listen to a special guest "mystery
Little Free Libraries resemble oversized birdhouses and are a
type of community book exchange. Passersby or anyone 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
Each Little Free Library is designed to hold at least two-dozen
books. The books for Gannon's Little Free Libraries have been
donated by the University's Nash Library in an effort to promote
literacy and a love of reading.
Gannon's Little Free Libraries have been designed and
constructed by the students in the first-year seminar of Karinna
Vernaza, Ph.D., associate professor, mechanical engineering, in
keeping with Gannon's mission of service, volunteerism, and civic
The Little Free Library movement originated in Wisconsin in 2009
as an outgrowth of a nonprofit organization, Wisconsin Partners for
SustainAbility. The organization's mission is to create more than
2,510 Little Free Libraries - more libraries than Andrew Carnegie
endowed - around the world.
The majority of the sites are within Gannon's Erie-GAINS
neighborhood. The Erie-GAINS program represents a comprehensive
effort by Gannon University to stimulate positive change and
promote the viability and sustainability of downtown Erie and
neighborhoods surrounding the campus.