Literature on the go


From left, Barry Zander and Eric Ortiz dig the hole while Pastor Marc Well Nagel and Tom Zander wait to place the post. These members of Bethlehem United Church of Christ in Maple Lake installed a Little Free Library in front of Irish Blessings Coffeehouse in late May. They installed another one at the church. (Photo by Brenda Erdahl)

Take a book or give a book, it’s all up to you when you visit one of two new Little Free Libraries in Maple Lake.
A bit like large bird houses on sturdy, wooden posts, the little libraries hold 30 or more books that are available to “check out” 24 hours a day, no library card or money required. Patrons can keep the book, return it when they are finished with it, or donate a different book.
It’s an idea that started in Wisconsin back in 2009 and the congregation at Bethlehem United Church of Christ in Maple Lake thought the community here would benefit by having one or two as well.
“We wanted to be of more service to the community,” Bethlehem UCC Pastor Marc Well Nagel said. “The chair of our council, Beth Steinleitner, lives in Buffalo and she saw them around. She thought they would be a great way for us to reach out to the community.”
After applying for and receiving a $600 Ashley Grant from the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ, the council decided to place one at the church near its new playground behind Maple Lake schools on County Road 37.
The generosity of a private donor allowed them to buy a second library which they installed in front of Irish Blessings Coffeehouse on Oak Avenue North on Sunday, May 28.

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