Mardell Schade, of Lake View, (above right) was inspired to install a little free library at Camp Crescent after she saw a similar installment along a trail in Boone. Ron Bettin (above left) designed the stained glass door and built the structure.
Mardell Schade, of Lake View, (above right) was inspired to install a little free library at Camp Crescent after she saw a similar installment along a trail in Boone. Ron Bettin (above left) designed the stained glass door and built the structure.
May 29, 2014



LAKE VIEW - Take a book, leave a book.

So is the inherent agreement between visiting readers to Camp Crescent in Lake View, where a "Little Free Library" was installed last week.

Inspired by a similar stand she saw on a walking trail in Boone, avid reader, former school teacher and library board member, and longtime Lake View resident Mardell Schade was inspired to bring the free book-sharing program to the residents of and visitors to her own lake side community.

"It really took my eye," she said.

Schade enlisted the help of Lake View's resident stained glass craftsman Ron Bettin to build the large birdhouse-sized structure to be mounted on a fence post beside the sidewalk leading to Crescent Beach.

Bettin's wife, Joyce, actually designed the door for the miniature library, opting for a gold-edged design with a book prominently on display.

Bettin's work also includes windows for the chapel in the Loring Hospital in Sac City, the entrance to the local farmer's market and a piece that was shipped as far as Arizona, as well as several picture windows in area homes with views of Black Hawk Lake.

Schade said she did not borrow a book from the structure that inspired her own project because she did not have a book to swap and would not have been able to easily return the book she borrowed.

To kick off the little free library, Schade stocked the structure from her own collection, which fills bookshelves and baskets throughout her home. Works currently available for swapping range from Emily Giffins "Something Borrowed" to Isabel Allende's "Island Beneath the Sea." The Lake View Public Library has also offered to contribute children's books.

Schade hopes the project will allow her to share her love of reading - a popular hobby that runs in her family, she said, taking a moment to brag about a 4-year-old grandchild whose most recent tests showed him reading at a first-grade level.

She herself has been known to pick up a book to read during breaks in television shows or even sporting events.

"We're just book-y people," Joyce agreed with a laugh.

The structure is designed to hold about a dozen books total.