Working Titles Writing Club connects service and passion through Little Free Library

Monday, May 6, 2013 2:10:00 PM

Stritch Little Library

As traffic on Stritch’s walking path increases with the spring thaw, people are beginning to discover the University’s own Little Free Library, which connects the campus to a worldwide network of locations hosting free book-exchange sites.

Located near Heritage Park, straight out the Bonaventure Hall doors near the president’s office, the Little Free Library holds a diverse collection of donated titles available to any interested readers. On a recent spring day, titles included: "The Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan, "The Rainmaker" by John Grisham, "Star Trek Voyager Pathways" by Jeri Taylor, and "Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden.

Erected in December just ahead of the winter freeze, Stritch’s Little Free Library arrived on campus thanks to the efforts of the Working Titles Writing Club and funding by the Student Government Association. Writing Club co-president Elaine Zautke first heard about the Little Free Library phenomenon while listening to a National Public Radio segment from the back seat of her parents’ car last summer. She brought the idea to the attention of fellow club members early in the fall semester, and the service project took off from there.

“We have to do service projects every semester, and I think in the past done we’ve done the red thread movement and helped with a blood drive a couple times,” Zautke said. “Those are nice projects, but it’s great to do something that really connects with our club’s mission statement.”

With help from Stritch’s maintenance department, the writing club members painted names of some of their favorite authors (Austen, Poe, Bronte, and Rowling) on the pre-constructed wooden library, purchased from the Little Free Libraries website. Then the maintenance staff waterproofed it and mounted it at a visible juncture in the campus walking path.

“We want it to definitely be something that sticks with the University for a long time,” Zautke said.