American Legion gives back
Thu, 10/15/2020 - 9:09am admin
—Legion Posts built Lending Libraries
HOWARD COUNTY - Veterans have always given of themselves. They did so while in active duty, fighting or representing their country, and they do it today in various ways.
One of the most recent projects the Howard County American Legions have worked on was constructing Little Lending Libraries. These libraries are built to hold donated books for young and old and can be placed anywhere.
Over the past year, veterans have been constructing and painting lending libraries, and as of Oct. 1, 2020, five have been installed in parks around Howard County. The goal is to build one for each community.
Lending Libraries in Howard County came about from a conversation between a grandmother and granddaughter.
Finding out she was moving to California, Karen Steffen’s granddaughter told Steffen she could have all her books if she would make a Lending Library. Grandma took hold of the idea and enlisted husband and veteran Warren to come up with a Lending Library she could paint and decorate.
The Steffens decided to locate the Lending Library south of Highway 9, so children didn’t have to cross the highway to go to the Cresco Public Library to get a book. Working with the Cresco Chamber, the Lending Library is located along the sidewalk in front of the Welcome Center.
Last fall, Howard County Business & Tourism approached each American Legion and VFW post in the county to make or buy a lending library for their community.
Jim Perry came up with the designs in Cresco.
New Lending Libraries in Howard County include:
• Lidtke Park Campground at Lime Springs was built and painted by American Legion Riders Post 135.
• The East Park (Cresco) Lending Library, which honors veterans, was painted by Barb Franklin.
• The Kessel Lodge (Cresco) unit, which resembles Cresco Theatre & Opera House, was painted by Cindy Yslas. The facility is on the National Register of Historic Places. The plan is to put lights on the library to show off the marquee.
• Turkey River Campground at Prairie’s Edge Nature Center at Vernon Springs honors agriculture. It was painted and decorated by veteran Mark Grinhaug’s daughters, Audrey and Ariel.
Veterans look forward to placing Lending Libraries in Protivin, Elma, Riceville and Chester. Once the libraries are installed, the veterans will work to get all on the National Registry for Lending Libraries.