Take a book, leave a book

The new little free library was set up outside Tod Hall and Maag Library. Photo by Matt Sotlar / The Jambar

By Matthew Sotlar

This fall, Youngstown State University’s Student Government Association began an initiative to install little libraries across campus. The first little library was set up outside Tod Hall and the William F. Maag Jr. Library on Nov. 18.

The library was donated by the Rotary Club of Youngstown. SGA Vice President Jordan Pintar said the libraries are a new way for students to access books on campus.

“It’s just a really great opportunity for students to participate in a whole community event [to] take a book, leave a book,” Pintar said. “It’s just a little box, and it opens and closes to protect the books from the weather. You can take a book, leave a book. It’s just a way for people to have fun and participate in something that the whole community can get into.”

The Rotary Club has installed numerous little libraries across Youngstown, including one on Wick Avenue. SGA reached out to the club, and it agreed to donate one to YSU. 

Pintar said SGA had been collecting books before the library was installed.

“Before it was installed, we [had] a bin in the student government office and in the Maag Library,” Pintar said. “We were already collecting books to be able to go in. So right now, we still have those two spots running.” 

SGA began planning the little libraries during the summer. Pintar said the initiative was new to YSU.

“We were able to get one on campus, and we were really excited to see that, but obviously, we’ve had these little libraries around the city for some time,” Pintar said.

SGA is currently looking for a permanent place for a drop-off bin. Books can be dropped off at either Maag or the SGA offices at any time. Pintar said the library is kept stocked with overflow books from Maag Library.

“[Maag] library has been able to have some old books that they can put into [the little library] if it is running low. We have representatives that have also been doing a little book drive as well, so we have some excess books in case it does run out,” Pintar said.

SGA hopes to install more little libraries. Pintar said they are hoping for campus-wide expansion. 

“As campus expands, we would want to expand the little libraries with it. Right now, I want to say there are three around the city of Youngstown, so I know people have already been participating in it a lot, so we would love to expand it, obviously, seeing as people continue to participate, maybe up near the dorms would be a good spot next,” Pintar said.

The little library is open to anyone in the community and can be accessed at any time.