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Calumet City Lions install Little Free Library in Pulaski Park

by Melanie Jongsma

CALUMET CITY, Ill. (July 12, 2020) – On a pleasant Friday afternoon, July 10, the Lions Club of Calumet City gathered in Pulaski Park to celebrate the installation of a Little Free Library. This is the first of three the Lions have purchased for Calumet City, and with COVID restrictions gradually easing, the chosen locations are finally open and the club can finally gather to install them.

The motto of the Little Free Library organization is “Take a Book – Share a Book.” The organization sells Little Free Library kits—some come assembled, while others can be assembled by the buyer. Books stocked in a Little Free Library are available free of charge. Readers are encouraged to take and read a book, then share the book with someone else or return it to the library. People may also place a good book of their own in the library for others to read and enjoy.

The Cal City Lions project was initiated by Lion Maria Valencia, President of the Cal City club. Maria and her husband Leo, also a Lion, live in Lansing and noticed the Little Free Library in the park near their house. “I saw it, and I fell in love with it,” said Maria. After donating books to that Little Free Library and noticing how quickly they disappeared, she was convinced that these tiny book outlets were meeting a need.

Eventually the Cal City Lions hope to donate and install a Little Free Library at each school district in Calumet City.

Installing the Little Free Library at Pulaski Park represented a partnership between the Calumet City Lions Club, the Calumet Memorial Park District, and the Village of Calumet City. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Maria Valencia (left) spearheaded the Lions’ Little Free Library project, and fellow Lion Nyota Figgs (center)—who is also the City Clerk of Calumet City and President of the Parks Board—helped make arrangements for placement. Lion Dr. Tamara Young (right) hopes to work with the park district on future projects as well. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
The Lions painted the Little Free Library in Lion colors. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Lion Denny Halloran donated the first book to the Pulaski Park Little Free Library—Great Chefs of New Orleans. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Lion Maria works at Lincoln School. “Ya know, parents by a LOT of books,” she said, noting that those books often get donated or passed along. “This is another place where good books can go.”

Pulaski Park is located at the southwest corner of Wentworth Avenue and Pulaski Road in Calumet City, Illinois.

Pulaski Park is located at the southwest corner of Wentworth Avenue and Pulaski Road in Calumet City, Illinois. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)


Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.