Rotary Club of the Abingtons’ Pocket Library #17238 becomes a reality

The Pocket Library will open in the Pocket Park on Depot Street, Clarks Summit on June 11. This tiny library will join other international libraries as part of The Little Free Library Association. Each tiny library looks different, one from the other, but all have the same purpose, “take a book, return a book.”

The Little Free Library is a homespun tribute turned international phenomenon. People in 55 countries installed almost 18,000 Lilliputian lending libraries. Ours is #17238. The Rotary Club of the Abingtons is the sponsor of the library, contributing $500 to build it. Now the library is completed entirely with volunteers and none of the $500 was used.

The first contribution was my own. I joined the Little Free Library Association in the name of the Rotary Club of the Abingtons and paid the nominal membership fee of less than $40.

The second contributor was Rotarian and Architect Ned Connell, who drew up the plans for the library, conferring with Mayor Lawler and Clarks Summit Council on its placement. All agreed that the new pocket park, now under construction, would be the perfect place for such a handy book exchange.

The architectural plans from Connell went to Rotarian Harry Mumford, a superb wooden craftsman. He brought cedar shelves, salvaged from a library in Southhampton, Long Island, and made those 100+ year old boards into a tiny cedar house to hold books. Mumford was the third contributor, using his time and talent and out of pocket costs to build the library.

Steve Young was a member of our Rotary club, just as his grandfather, Lawrence Young, had been many years ago. Although Steve Young is no longer active active, he volunteered to laser the Rotary logo into the wood. He freely gave his talent at no charge.

Doug LaCoe, from the Do-It-Center in Dalton, was another contributor. He donated the plexiglass needed for the door and window of the library at no cost. Doug LaCoe is not a Rotarian but has a big heart for a Rotary cause.

We had our regular Rotary lunch at Nichols Village last Thursday and pondered the problem of getting a roof for the tiny building. We talked about putting a copper roof on the building, only to realize that copper is a burglary incentive, so the idea was discarded. Connell said the pocket library would be more attractive if it was enhanced with the Rotary colors of yellow and blue. He approached James W. Cox and Son Sheet Metal Fabricators in Scranton.

Connell met with Joe Carr from that business and explained the Rotary Club of the Abingtons was looking for a blue metal roof. Although Joe is not a Rotarian, he developed a piece of blue metal about 36 inches or so by 36 inches. He formed it into a peaked roof and placed it on the top of the library, thus completing the construction.

The James W. Cox and Son Sheet Metal Fabricators charged nothing for the costs of materials and labor.

Yellow paint to perk up the outside of the library to give it a whimsical look was given by Connell. The cost of buying a post, upon which the library will be topped, was born by Harry.

A small Rotarian work crew will assemble on June 10 at the Pocket Park on Depot Street. The borough will contribute the auger to drill the post hole. With some muscle power, the pole will be placed. The library will be set on top of the post and a large yellow ribbon will be tied around the door.

The next day, June 11, our regular Rotary meeting date, we will assemble, not at Nichols Village where we usually meet, but rather at the Pocket Park on Depot Street for a picnic. Our program that day will be the cutting of the ribbon on the tiny little library door and placing the first books inside. Even though the door is only 10 inches tall, it will be a grand opening.

After June 11, the Pocket Library will be ready for books. Put some in, take some out. Help yourself to diverse reading from the Pocket Library, made 100% by volunteers. The original $500 stipend from Rotary was never used and returned for a new Rotary cause.

Check it out. The door of #17238 will open on June 11 and what’s inside may inspire you.

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